AS  Vol.13 No.3 , March 2022
Productivity Evaluation of Four Medicago sativa Cultivars under Two Water Regimes (Irrigated and Non-Irrigated) and Two Soil Types at Bathurst Research Station in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
Abstract: Medicago sativa (lucerne) is a perennial and drought tolerant fodder crop which is widely used as feed for livestock in South Africa. This study evaluated four lucerne cultivars under two water regimes and also determined the effect of soil type on lucerne biomass production. To determine dry matter production per cultivar per treatment, a random grid (quadrant) sampling method was used and all biomass within that radius was cut to 5 cm above the ground level in each plot. All biomass sampling was done just before regrowth commences. Biomass data collection on four lucerne cultivars belonging to different dormancy groupings (WL 711, WL 525 HQ, KKS 9911 and SA Standard) were collected seasonally under different soil types on both irrigated and non-irrigated plots and analysed. Soil type (site) had a significant (P < 0.05) effect on the overall quantity of dry matter produced as more dry matter was produced in site 2 (S2) in comparison to site 1 (S2). Different levels of water application (moisture supplementation) also affected the quantity of dry matter produced in each soil type. The once-a-month irrigation treatment (Ir1) led to the production of superior dry matter yield on SI even though the effect was not significant. In S2 twice a month irrigation treatment (Ir2) produced the highest dry matter, however, this effect was significant (P < 0.05) only in comparison with zero irrigation (Ir0) treatment. Cultivar 3 (KKS 9911) was the least productive cultivar in S1, while the same cultivar was the least productive cultivar in S2. These findings show that both soil type and irrigation levels had a significant (P < 0.05) effect on the total dry matter production of the tested Lucerne cultivars belonging to different dormancy groupings.
Cite this paper: Solontsi, M. , Maqubela, M. , van Niekerk, J. , Swanepoel, J. , Jordaan, G. , Gulwa, U. , Tokozwayo, S. and Nyangiwe, N. (2022) Productivity Evaluation of Four Medicago sativa Cultivars under Two Water Regimes (Irrigated and Non-Irrigated) and Two Soil Types at Bathurst Research Station in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Agricultural Sciences, 13, 438-447. doi: 10.4236/as.2022.133030.

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