Original Articles

Productivity and stability of various Grass‐legume mixtures with different intensities of defoliation and levels of nitrogen fertilisation


Three trials were established at Cedara under dryland conditions to determine the production, persistence and value of Trifolium repens cv. Ladino, Trifolium pratense cv. Kenland red and Desmodium uncinatum cv. Silverleaf. These legumes were row‐planted into Pennisetum clandestinum (kikuyu); Cynodon nlemfuensis (Stargrass) and Cynodon dactylon hybrid (Coastcross II) swards. The kikuyu was grazed while Stargrass and Coastcross II were mown. Results and observations showed that Stargrass was the least aggressive and kikuyu the most aggressive of the grass species. The only legume to survive and show promise as a companion legume was Kenland red clover. Furthermore, under grazing the unpalatability of Kenland, relative to kikuyu, at the late flowering and seed setting stage could prove a useful management tool in maintaining the legume in kikuyu. Silverleaf desmodium was adversely affected by the severe winters and failed to compete with a creeping grass. Ladino clover was not suited to the dry conditions on a hot, northerly slope when grown with a creeping grass.

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