Soil mineral nitrogen availability predicted by herbage yield and disease resistance in red clover (Trifolium pratense) cropping

McKenna, P, Cannon, Nicola and Conway, John (2018) Soil mineral nitrogen availability predicted by herbage yield and disease resistance in red clover (Trifolium pratense) cropping. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 112 (3). pp. 303-315. ISSN 1573-0867

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Nitrogen (N) is the most limiting nutrient in crop production. Legumes such as red clover can provide N through biofixation, but securing nitrogen in soil for subsequent crop production must also be considered. Variety selection and management in red clover cropping can influence soil mineral nitrogen (SMN) availability. A field trial to investigate this was conducted with six varieties, under one and two cut management, over 2 years. Dry matter (DM) and N yield, Sclerotinia resistance and SMN availability were assessed. Low DM and N yields (1.6–2.4 t DM ha−1 and 54–83 kg N ha−1) in the first year of cultivation allowed ~ 40 kg N ha−1 to become available, but high DM and N yields (10.2–14.6 t DM ha−1 and 405–544 kg N ha−1) allowed ~ 20 kg N ha−1 to become available. Wetter weather in 2015 caused significantly more SMN losses than 2016 (20 kg N ha−1 in 2015 and 5 kg N ha−1 in 2016). The varieties Amos, Maro and Milvus lost significantly more SMN in the winter period, which may have been caused by more severe infection of Sclerotinia (these varieties were 50–80% more severely infected other varieties). Varietal effect was non-significant for winter losses in 2016, where no significant varietal differences in Sclerotinia infection were observed. 1 cut made ~ 41 kg N ha−1 available in the growing season of 2015, whilst 2 cut made significantly less (37 kg N ha−1). Cutting was non-significant in 2016 but 1 cut was less susceptible to losses in the winter period. Cutting in 2015 did not significantly affect herbage DM and N yields in the first or second cut of 2016.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Red clover Forage legume Soil fertility Nitrogen fixation Soil mineral nitrogen
Divisions: Agriculture, Food and Environment
Depositing User: Users 4 not found.
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2019 12:42
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2022 15:51

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