Relationships between the yield of perennial ryegrass and of small-leaved white clover under cutting or continuous grazing by sheep

T. Andy Williams, Wendy J. Thornley, Michael T. Abberton, Ian Rhodes

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1 Citation (SciVal)

Abstract

Seven varieties or advanced breeding lines of white clover (Trifolium repens L.), all of small leaf size, were grown separately in mixtures with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) in an experiment encompassing three harvest years. Harvestable dry-matter (DM) yield measurements were taken of these mixtures and of perennial ryegrass monocultures under two management regimes: cutting and continuous sheep grazing. Considerable differences were observed in the harvestable DM yields of white clover, perennial ryegrass and total yields of the mixtures between plots containing different white clover varieties. White clover yields were generally higher under cutting, and perennial ryegrass yields were higher under grazing. The difference between perennial ryegrass yield in monoculture and in mixture was variable. In the second harvest year, a significant interaction effect was seen between management and white clover variety for white clover yield but not for perennial ryegrass yield. The relationship between clover yield and grass yield differed between the two management regimes. Under cutting, a negative correlation was observed, indicative of competitive effects. However, under grazing, no such correlation was seen. Possible mechanisms underlying these outcomes are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-237
Number of pages7
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Volume56
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2001

Keywords

  • cutting
  • grazing
  • perennial ryegrass
  • small-leaved white clover

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