Persistence of Alfalfa Sod‐Seeded into Bermudagrass Pastures on Coastal Plain Soils
- Additional Document Info
- View All
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) production and persistence in the Lower South of the USA are dependent on climate, soil, and competition from warm-season perennial grasses such as bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.]. A 3-year study was conducted at Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Overton, to evaluate 'Alfagraze' alfalfa persistence on a Darco loamy fine sand (loamy, siliceous thermic Grossarenic Paleudult) when sod-seeded at three row spacings (10, 20, and 30 inches) into a well-established 'Coastal' bermudagrass pasture. Alfagraze was rotationally stocked with animal residence time from 5 to 13 d and deferment periods ranging from 18 to 27 d. In Year 1, during the first three grazing periods (1 April to 31 May), alfalfa was the dominant species (P < 0.05). Thereafter, from 30 June to 3 October, bermudagrass was dominant (P < 0.05). At the initiation of harvest in Year 2 (1 April), alfalfa dry matter (DM) was 1353, 783, and 690 lb/acre, respectively, at 10-, 20-, and 30-inch drill-row spacing prior to bermudagrass growth. At the end of Year 2 (3 October), alfalfa DM was 33, 10, and 0.90 lb/acre, respectively, at 10-, 20-, and 30-inch spacings while bermudagrass DM was 1424, 1557, and 1080 lb/acre. At the beginning of Year 3, the percent stands of alfalfa were 14, 11, and 5%, respectively, for 10-, 20-, and 30-inch spaced alfalfa plantings, while the respective percent stands of bermudagrass were 86, 89, and 95%. Under the climatic and sandy Coastal Plains soils of this vegetation region, Alfagraze was not persistent under grazing at any row spacing for more than 3 years when sod-seeded into a well-established Coastal bermudagrass pasture.
author list (cited authors)
Corriher‐Olson, V., Rouquette, M., Smith, G. R., & Haby, V. A.