Aspen Bibliography

Title

Productivity and composition of bromegrass alfalfa mixtures for hay in the Aspen Parklands of western Canada

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Canadian Journal of Plant Science

Volume

75

Issue

2

First Page

429

Last Page

436

Publication Date

1995

Abstract

Pearen, J. R., Baron, V. S. and Cowan, I. W. 1995. hoductivity and compmition of bromegrass alfalfa mixtures for hay in the Aspen Parklands of western Canada. Can. J. Plant Sci. 75: 429436. Dry matter yield of smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis kyss.) - alfalfa (Medicago sativaL.) mixtures is restricted by short growing seasons and poor legume persistence in the Aspen Parklands of western Canada. Meadow bromegrass (Bromus rtpartus Rehm.) has recently gained acceptance, but comparative information on smooth and meadow bromegrass in grass-alfalfa mixtures is unavailable. We examined DM yield of binary grass-legume mixtures containing either Carlton or Manchar smooth bromegrass or Regar meadow bromegrass with Peace or Beaver alfalfa under a two-cut hay-management system.at four sites in central Alberta for 3 yr. Annual DM yield was 4O% greater (P < 0.0001) at sites near Lacombe (]570 kg ha-') than at Bluffton and Vegreville 6420 kg ha-'). Dry matter yield of smooth bromegrass mixtures (8020 kg ha-') was 20Vo higher (P < 0.01) than that of meadow bromegrass mixtures (6690 kg ha-') near Lacombe. Alfalfa DM yield was 2.1 times higher at Bluffton and Vegreville (2770k9 ha-') than near Lacombe (1300 kg ha-'). Near Lacombe, alfalfa regrowth was suppressed (P < 0.0001) by smooth bromegrass, which had 2.3 times larger (P < 0.001) tillers than meadow bromegrass at first cut. At Bluffton and Vegreville, DM yield of meadow bromegrass mixtures equalled or exceeded (P < 0.05) that of smooth bromegrass mixtures. Alttrough first-cut tiller weight of smooth bromegrass was73% more (P < 0.0001) than that of meadow bromegrass at Bluffton and Vegreville, tiller density of meadow bromegrass was 1.7 times greater (P < 0.m01) than that of smooth bromegrass. Results indicate that smooth brome- grass mixtures were superior to meadow bromegrass mixtures for hay production at moist fertile locations, despite reduced alfalfa persistence. At drier or less fertile sites, however, DM yield of meadow bromegrass mixtures was higher than that of smooth bromegrass mixtures when weather conditions for regrowth were favourable.