Integration of cool-season annual legumes and dairy manure compost with switchgrass Academic Article uri icon


  • Annual cool-season legumes can contribute forage or green manure to warm-season grass pastures or biofuel crops but may interfere with subsequent grass development. Arrowleaf clover (Trifolium vesiculosum Savi cv. Yuchi), common vetch (Vicia sativa L.), and button medic [Medicago orbicularis (L.) Bartal cv. Estes] were oversown on 10-yr-old switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) in north-central Texas to evaluate dry matter (DM) yield and nutritive value. Legumes were no-till drilled into a Windthorst fine sandy loam in autumn of 2000 and 2001; plots either received no dairy manure compost or 30 Mg compost ha -1 . Forage was harvested when individual legume species reached flowering, when switchgrass regrowth reached boot stage, and at the end of the summer growing season. Switchgrass DM yields (3022-6630 kg ha -1 yr -1 ) were not reduced by overseeded legumes. Arrowleaf clover had the greatest production among the legume species and yielded more in a monoculture (1762-1923 kg ha -1 yr -1 ) than with switchgrass (757-814 kg). Cumulative yields increased the second year as a result of legumes, compost, and combinations of the two. Compost increased phosphorus concentrations in both the grass and legumes, but not crude protein or acid detergent fiber concentrations. Cool-season annual legumes may be beneficial in switchgrass forage and biofuel systems, especially in combination with manure compost. Crop Science Society of America. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Bow, J. R., Muir, J. P., Weindorf, D. C., Rosiere, R. E., & Butler, T. J.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Bow, J Randal||Muir, James P||Weindorf, David C||Rosiere, Randy E||Butler, Twain J

publication date

  • July 2008