AS  Vol.6 No.4 , April 2015
Interactive Effect of Forage Mixing Rates and Organic Fertilizers on the Yield and Nutritive Value of Berseem Clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) and Annual Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.)

Berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) is the main winter forage legume in Egypt. Despite that the yield and protein content of berseem clover are high, it is characterized by low dry matter content especially in the 1st cut. Intercropping berseem clover with forage grasses, especially annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) is a recommended technique to produce higher forage yield with better balanced nutritional quality. However, little is known about the performance of these proposed mixtures under the arising organic farming system in Egypt. Organic farming and the application of organic fertilizers (compost and poultry manure) are receiving increased attention in the last few years. Thus, the current study was carried out on the winter season of two successive years (2012 and 2013) in the experimental station of SEKEM organic farm, Egypt. Main aim was to investigate the variation in 1st cut forage yield and nutritive value of berseem clover and annual ryegrass, grown in pure stands and with three mixing rates, under three organic fertilization regimes (compost, poultry litter, and no fertilization). Nutritive value was judged through investigating the crude protein (CP), total carbohydrates (TC), and fiber fractions (NDF, ADF, and ADL). Results revealed significant two-way interaction between the forage treatments and the fertilization regimes for all the studied parameters. In general, mixing berseem clover with annual ryegrass, fertilized by compost or poultry litter resulted in significantly higher forage yield, dry matter content, and balanced CP, TC, and fiber fractions, compared to the pure stands.

Cite this paper: Salama, H. (2015) Interactive Effect of Forage Mixing Rates and Organic Fertilizers on the Yield and Nutritive Value of Berseem Clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) and Annual Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.). Agricultural Sciences, 6, 415-425. doi: 10.4236/as.2015.64041.

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