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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Armstrong, Kevin
item Albrecht, Kenneth
item Lauer, Joseph
item Riday, Heathcliffe

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2005
Publication Date: 11/10/2005
Citation: Armstrong, K., Albrecht, K., Lauer, J., Riday, H. 2005. Nutritional improvement of corn for silage by intercropping with climbing beans [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting. Paper No. 68-437b.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Low crude protein (CP) concentration in corn silage is its major limitation in dairy rations. In this experiment corn was intercropped with three climbing beans: lablab bean [Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet], velvet bean [Mucuna pruriens (L.) D.C.], and scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus L.), or grown in monoculture near Arlington and Lancaster, WI. Corn was sown at 82,500 (high density) or 55,000 (low density) plants/ha in early May. Beans were sown in rows six inches beside corn rows at 82,500 plants/ha, 2 or 4 weeks after corn planting. Averaged over locations and management treatments the lablab bean-corn mixture produced 19.9 Mg/ha of whole plant dry matter compared to 19.6 Mg/ha in monoculture corn, with no detectable differences among mixture treatments. Early bean planting had no affect on total mixture yield while the high-density corn treatment yielded 4.8 Mg/ha more than the low corn density treatment. Mean proportions of beans in the mixtures were: lablab bean 8.8%, scarlet runner bean 5%, and velvet bean 3.4%. Addition of lablab bean increased neutral detergent fiber concentration from 379 to 392g/kg and acid detergent fiber concentration from 196 to 212 g/kg in mixtures. Bean planting date had no significant effect on mixture CP concentrations, however mixtures with lower corn density contained 5 g/kg more CP than the high-density corn treatment. Beans increased the CP concentration of all mixtures, with lablab bean-corn mixtures containing 74 g/kg CP compared to 65 g/kg in monoculture corn. These data show that lablab bean grown with corn has the greatest potential of the three beans to increase CP concentration above monoculture corn, without compromising silage yield.

Last Modified: 05/25/2017
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