From establishment to re-establishment: a field evaluation of sub clover cultivars

Teixeira, C.1, Lucas, R.J. 2, Lewis, T 3., Moot, D.J.4

1 Lincoln University, Field Research Centre, Faculty of Agriculture & Life Sciences, PO Box 85084

7647, Lincoln, New Zealand, www.lincoln.ac.nz, carmen.teixeira@lincolnuni.ac.nz

2 richard.lucas@lincoln.ac.nz

3 teresa.lewis@lincolnuni.ac.nz

4 derrick.moot@lincoln.ac.nz

Abstract

Sowing an appropriate cultivar of subterranean (sub) clover is important for successful dryland farming systems. Sub clover is a winter legume with potential to produce high quality herbage early in spring, for lactating animals. To be economically viable, sub clover cultivars must be competitive at establishment, accumulate biomass early in spring and produce sufficient number of seeds for regeneration in the following year. A field experiment in Canterbury, New Zealand, compared 15 sub clover cultivars in relation to a white clover ‘Nomad’ treatment after mid-April establishment. Sub clovers produced twice the total dry matter (4200 kg DM/ha,) of ‘Nomad’ (1190 kg DM/ha) from sowing to November. The highest yielding cultivars were ‘Woogenellup’ and ‘Antas’, which produced a total of ~8000 kg DM/ha. The sub clovers were more efficient at competing with weeds compared to the white clover (e.g. 50% versus 6% clover ground cover). Seed production differed among subspecies with the yanninicums producing fewer seeds (~ 6000 seeds/ m2) than the subterraneum and the brachycalcycinum (~ 8630 seeds/ m2). Seed yield ranged from 330 kg/ha (Campeda) to 1050 kg/ha (Woogenellup) kg/ha. By March the following year, ‘Narrikup’, ‘Antas’, ‘Mount Barker’ and ‘Woogenellup’ had the highest seedling regeneration (1000 seedlings/m2) in contrast to only 182 seedlings/m2 for ‘Monti, ‘Leura’ and  ‘Rosabrook’.

Host

The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography david_marland@hotmail.com Southern Farming Systems Agriculture Victoria

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