Performance of white clover varieties combined in blends and alone when grown with ryegrass under sheep and cattle grazing

Michael T. Abberton, T. Andy Williams, Ian Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

AbstractTwo experiments were carried out to evaluate the performance of blends of three white clover (Trifolium repens L.) varieties in comparison with the component varieties and three other varieties sown individually in a mixture with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). The plots were grazed rotationally in Experiment 1 by cattle and sheep and in Experiment 2 by sheep alone. In both experiments, the blend was composed of three medium-leaved varieties (AberDai, AberVantage and AberHerald), but with different relative contributions of the three varieties in the two experiments. Dry matter (DM) yields of white clover and perennial ryegrass were assessed in replicate plots for two years (1999 and 2000) after the establishment year. In Experiment 1, there was no significant difference between the DM yields of white clover or perennial ryegrass in either year. The decline in DM yield of white clover between years that was observed for some varieties was not found for the blend. In Experiment 2, significant differences were found in DM yields of white clover in both years. In 1999, AberDai had the highest DM yield. In 2000, AberHerald and AberVantage had the highest DM yields, and AberDai showed a decline in DM yield that was mirrored by the mean for all the white clover varieties. In both experiments, the blend did not show significantly higher DM yield than one or more of its components; indeed, in Experiment 2, it was significantly lower yielding than AberDai in 1999. However, where one component of the blend declined in DM yield between years, this was compensated for by an increase in the yield of another component. These preliminary findings suggest that the yield stability of blends may give them a potential role in agricultural practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-93
Number of pages4
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2003

Keywords

  • blends
  • dry matter yields
  • grazing
  • ryegrass
  • white clover

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