Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry




The aim of the present study was to determine the changes in the forage yield and quality of binary and ternary mixtures of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leys.), orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), and meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.) throughout a vegetation period. Plots were established in 2008 in Isparta, Turkey, in a randomized complete block design with 3 replicates. Four cuttings were done during the 2009 and 2010 vegetative periods. The levels of crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), and relative feed value (RFV) were determined for each monoculture and mixture. The highest total dry matter yields were obtained from the alfalfa-smooth bromegrass mixture at 16.65 t ha^{-1} in 2009 and 16.00 t ha^{-1} in 2010. Red clover exhibited the lowest NDF (368 g kg^{-1}) and ADF (256 g kg^{-1}) concentrations compared with the other forage plants, whereas alfalfa displayed the highest CP content (181 g kg^{-1}). The RFV of the mixtures ranged from 107 to 145, and the decrease in yield was larger for the grasses than the legumes throughout the vegetation period. The results indicated that alfalfa-smooth bromegrass, alfalfa-orchardgrass, and alfalfa-meadow fescue mixtures could make valuable legume-grass mixtures.


Alfalfa, red clover, smooth bromegrass, mixture, seasonal variation

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