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Variability of herbage production in mixed leys as related to ley age and environmental factors: a farm survey

Riesinger, Paul and Herzon, Irina (2008) Variability of herbage production in mixed leys as related to ley age and environmental factors: a farm survey. Agricultural and Food Science, 17 (4), pp. 394-412.

PDF - Published Version - English

Online at: http://www.mtt.fi/afs/pdf/mtt-afs-v17n4p394.pdf


Influences of ley age, soil properties, and geographical location on the herbage production of red clover-grass leys were determined under practical conditions on 27 organic farms located in the southern and in the northwestern coastal regions of Finland. Averaged over one-, two-, and three-year-old leys the accumulated first and second cuts produced 7.12 t dry matter herbage ha-1 year-1, with a clover proportion of 34.8%. Herbage production declined with increasing ley age. The average proportion of clover increased from 26.4% in the first to 43.7% in the second cut but decreased with ley age. Within- and between-field variations of clover proportions markedly decreased from the first to the second cut and strongly increased with ley age, while changes in the variations of herbage production were less pronounced. Within-field variations of clover proportions in the first and in the second cuts were higher at lower proportions of clover. Herbage production was positively related with clover proportion. Soil properties had a major impact on clover proportion and herbage production, largely explaining also regional differences in ley growth. Amelioration of fields and, not at least, of less fertile sites within the same field seems to be a crucial requirement for higher and more even clover proportions and herbage yields.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Finland, organic farming, proportion of clover, red clover-grass ley, soil properties, spatial heterogeneity, Trifolium pratense
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Research affiliation: Finland > Univ. Helsinki
Deposited By: Koistinen, Riitta
ID Code:17078
Deposited On:05 May 2010 12:02
Last Modified:05 May 2010 12:02
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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