U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


Main content area

Establishment and production of common sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.) in the UK. 2. Effects of direct sowing and undersowing in spring barley on sainfoin and sainfoin-grass mixtures

Liu, Z., Lane, G.P.F., Davies, W.P.
Grass and forage science 2008 v.63 no.2 pp. 242-248
Festuca pratensis, Lolium perenne, Onobrychis viciifolia, crop yield, direct seeding, field experimentation, forage, grasses, spring barley, tetraploidy, United Kingdom
The dry matter (DM) yield and herbage quality of swards of sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia), meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis,) and tetraploid perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) grown in monocultures and in four sainfoin:grass mixtures (0·33 sainfoin:0·66 meadow fescue, 0·66 sainfoin:0·33 meadow fescue, 0·33 sainfoin:0·66 perennial ryegrass and 0·66 sainfoin:0·33 perennial ryegrass), established by direct sowing or undersowing in spring barley, were investigated over 3 years in a field experiment in the UK. Direct sowing produced a mean yield across all species and mixtures of 1·8 t DM ha⁻¹ in the establishment year, whereas undersowing produced no measurable yield except for that of the spring barley. Undersowing reduced the yields of sainfoin and sainfoin-grass mixtures in the first full-harvest year but not in the second. The annual yield of a monoculture of sainfoin was 7·53 t DM ha⁻¹ and that of sainfoin-grass mixtures was 8·33 t DM ha⁻¹ averaged over 3 years. Both sainfoin and the sainfoin-grass mixtures had higher annual DM yields than the grass monocultures. The mixture of 0·66 sainfoin:0·33 meadow fescue gave the highest mean annual yield (9·07 t DM ha⁻¹) over the 3 years. There was a higher proportion of sainfoin maintained in mixtures with perennial ryegrass than with meadow fescue. The proportion of sainfoin in sainfoin-meadow fescue mixtures declined from 0·62 in the first year to 0·32 in the third year, whereas the proportion in sainfoin-perennial ryegrass increased from 0·48 in the first year to 0·67 in the second year and remained stable in the third year.