Research note

Maize as a cover crop for the establishment of perennial pasture legumes in the south‐eastern transvaal

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1989.9648156
Author(s): D.L. BarnesDepartment of Agriculture and Water Supply (Transvaal Region),


In exploratory trials involving the underplanting of the perennial pasture legumes Coronilla varia, Lotus corniculatus and Medicago sativa in maize, the influence of maize density, time of planting of the legume and time of maize removal on legume establishment was assessed. The results indicate that planting between maize rows spaced 900 mm apart is a feasible method of establishing moderately shade‐tolerant legumes in the local environment. Legume establishment was favoured by early planting of the legume and early removal of the maize crop at the silage stage. It is tentatively concluded that a cover crop density of 25 000 to 30 000 maize plants/ha is satisfactory. The trials extended over only two seasons and the results are thus indicative rather than definitive.

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