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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Dairy Forage Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #326314

Research Project: Redesigning Forage Genetics, Management, and Harvesting for Efficiency, Profit, and Sustainability in Dairy and Bioenergy Production Systems

Location: Dairy Forage Research

Title: Enhancing forage yields and soil conservation by interseeding alfalfa into silage corn

Author
item Grabber, John
item Renz, Mark - University Of Wisconsin
item Lauer, Joe - University Of Wisconsin
item Riday, Heathcliffe
item Jokela, William
item Vadas, Peter

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/17/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Recent field studies have identified prohexadione-calcium (PHD) as an effective plant growth regulator for enhancing the establishment of alfalfa interseeded into corn as a dual-purpose cover and forage crop. Foliar applications of PHD on seedlings doubled or tripled stand survival of interseeded alfalfa compared to non-treated controls. Alfalfa interseeding with PHD decreased corn yields by 8%, but doubled first-year yields of alfalfa and increased two-year total yields of corn plus alfalfa by 13% compared to corn followed by spring seeded alfalfa. Interseeding alfalfa into corn also substantially reduced runoff of water, soil, and nutrients from cropland. In ongoing work, we are refining production practices (rates, timing and formulation of PHD, weed control methods, nitrogen fertilizer management, crop seeding rates and planting dates, alfalfa variety and corn hybrid selection, etc), and conducting economic assessments to develop reliable and profitable corn-interseeded alfalfa production systems for farms in the northern United States.