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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Forage and Livestock Production Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #325612

Research Project: Integrated Forage Systems for Food and Energy Production in the Southern Great Plains

Location: Forage and Livestock Production Research

Title: In search of annual legumes to improve forage sorghum yield and nutritive value in the southern high plains

Author
item Angadi, Sangamesh - New Mexico State University
item Rangappa, Umesh - University Of Agricultural Sciences
item Contreras-govea, Francisco - University Of Wisconsin
item Annadurai, Kannan - Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
item Begna, Sultan - New Mexico State University
item Marsalis, Mark - New Mexico State University
item Cole, Andy - Retired Ars Employee
item Gowda, Prasanna
item Hagevoort, Robert - New Mexico State University
item Lauriault, Leonard - New Mexico State University

Submitted to: Crop, Forage & Turfgrass Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/3/2015
Publication Date: 4/29/2016
Citation: Angadi, S.V., Rangappa, U.M., Contreras-Govea, F.E., Annadurai, K., Begna, S.H., Marsalis, M.A., Cole, A.N., Gowda, P., Hagevoort, R.G., Lauriault, L.M. 2016. In search of annual legumes to improve forage sorghum yield and nutritive value in the southern high plains. Crop, Forage & Turfgrass Management. doi:10.2134/cftm2015.0182.

Interpretive Summary: Increased demand for high quality forage is common throughout the Southern Great Plains. Forage sorghum is commonly grown in this region to meet the demand. Planting legumes with forage sorghum (FS) may improve the nutritive value and dry matter yield while improving the water use efficiency. A 2-year experiment was conducted to evaluate FS intercropped with cowpea, lablab, limabean and polebean for their nutritive value and dry matter yield. Results indicated that crude protein in FS intercropped with limabean was greater than sole FS and FS intercropped with polebean but not different with FS intercropped with cowpea and lablab. However, dry biomass for FS-limabean (6.73 ton/ac) was less than that of FS (7.93 tons/ac), FS-cowpea (7.94 tons/ac), and FS-polebean ((7.79 tons/ac). Limabean and polebean are not viable alternatives to cowpea or lablab due to either decreased yield or lack of nutritive value improvement compared to FS forage.

Technical Abstract: Livestock production is significant in the Southern High Plains of the USA and demand is increasing for greater forage dry matter (DM) yield with increased nutritive value. Forage sorghum (FS)[Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] is commonly used, although, it is low in crude protein (CP) and high in fiber. Planting legumes with FS may improve nutritive value and/or DM yield of the harvested forage; nevertheless, only marginal improvements in CP and fiber have been reported when utilizing cowpea [Vigna unquiculata (L.) Walp.] or lablab [Lablabpurpureus (L.) Sweet]. Consequently, additional candidate legumes must be evaluated for greater success. Irrigated studies were conducted at New Mexico State University’s Agricultural Science Center at Clovis in two years. The experiment was a randomized complete block design replicated four times each year. Forage cowpea, lablab, limabean (Phaseolus lunata L.), and polebean (P. vulgaris L.) were planted between FS rows spaced at 30 inches and compared with sole FS. Limabean mixed with FS total DM yield (6.73 ton ac-1) was lower than sole FS, FScowpea, and FS-polebean (7.93, 7.94, and 7.79 tons ac-1, respectively) but not FS-lablab (7.34 ton ac-1). Crude protein of FS-limabean (7.9%) was greater than sole FS and FS-polebean (7.0% for both) but not different than FS-cowpea and FS-lablab (7.4 and 7.5%, respectively). Differences in digestible DM yield followed total DM yield. Limabean and polebean are not viable alternatives to cowpea or lablab due to either decreased yield or lack of nutritive value improvement compared to FS forage. Consequently, the search will continue.