Forage Yield and the Quality of Perennial Legume-Grass Mixtures under Rainfed Conditions
AbstractThis study was performed to determine suitable perennial forage species and their mixtures for the establishment of short-term artificial pastures under rainfed conditions in Turkey. The study was conducted from 2008 through 2010. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), sainfoin (Onobrychis sativa Lam.), brome grass (Bromus inermis Leys.), intermediate wheatgrass (Agropyron intermedium (Host). Beauv.), crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum L. Gaertn.) and their binary and ternary mixtures were used as experimental material. The study found significant differences in yield and quality among the forage mixtures investigated. Sainfoin + bromegrass + crested wheatgrass and sainfoin + crested wheatgrass mixtures gave the highest dry matter yield (8.36 and 7.75 t/ha, respectively). Binary and ternary mixtures of alfalfa + grasses had higher crude protein levels and lower values of ADF and NDF content than mixtures of sainfoin + grasses. Pure alfalfa (56.64%) and binary mixtures of alfalfa + grasses (53.53 to 54.28%) had the highest TDN values. The relative feed values of the mixtures ranged from 95.64 to 112.58. The results of the study indicated that alfalfa and sainfoin binary mixtures with grasses may both be used to establish artificial pastures in similar ecologies owing to their high forage yield and quality.
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