Shoot and perennial organ yields of lucerne genotypes of three fall dormancy levels over five years

Sarah Maria Hoppen1, Hung Ta2, Xiumei Yang2, José Jáuregui2, Marcela Abbado Neres3, Derrick Moot2

1Lincoln University, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand, 7647 e-mail:

2Lincoln University, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand, 7647.

3West of Parana State University, Marechal Candido Rondon, Parana, Brazil, 85930-000.


This study evaluated productivity and persistence of a dormant (FD2), semi-dormant (FD5) and non-dormant (10) lucerne genotype over five years. The experiment at Iversen Field, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand, was sown on 4th October, 2014. Measurements of shoot, perennial organ (roots + crown) and weed yields were made from destructive samples of shoots and roots (30 cm of depth) harvested each 42 days from spring to autumn of 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. During the establishment phase, the FD10 had the greatest shoot yield, followed by the FD5 (9.5 and 6.3 t DM ha-1, respectively). The lucerne shoot yield increased from year 1 to year 2, with no difference until year 5, when FD10 showed a decrease of more than 2 t DM ha-1 compared with the same season in year 4. There was no difference in perennial organs in the early stages of the experiment with a maximum of 8.9 t DM ha-1 for FD5 in March of 2017. In year 5 FD10 had the lowest accumulated shoot and perennial organ yields. A reduction in FD10 canopy cover allowed an infestation of weeds (white clover, Californian thistles, dandelion and docks). The FD2 genotype had the highest yield below ground, while FD5 was the most productive above ground. The use of more fall dormant cultivars is recommended if persistence of the pastures is an important management factor.


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 Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University

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