Establishment of lucerne (Medicago sativa) sown on five dates with four inoculation treatments
The establishment and growth of ‘Stamina 5’ lucerne (Medicago sativa) seed sown with three inoculant carriers (ALOSCA®, coated, and peat slurry treated) or as bare seed (control) on five dates (21 October 2010, 9 November 2010, 8 December 2010, 13 January 2011 and 3 February 2011) was investigated on a Lismore stony silt loam soil at Ashley Dene dryland research farm in Canterbury. Initial lucerne populations were 300 plants m⁻² from coated seed and on average 200 ± 11.2 plants m⁻² from bare seed, ALOSCA® and the peat slurry inoculated seed. The higher population from coated seed treatments did not confer a herbage yield advantage. In the establishment year, yield was lowest (0.59 t DM ha⁻¹) from the last sowing (3 February 2012) and highest from sowing dates (SD) 2 and 3 (2.6 ± 0.12 t DM ha⁻¹). Yields were restricted by the low volumetric soil moisture content from November until March. The declining autumn photoperiod (14.9 to 14.1 hours) probably increased the partitioning priority of assimilates to the roots, reducing the above ground DM in the later sowing dates. In most cases, DM yields in Year 1 were unaffected by seed inoculant treatments. In Year 2, DM production from the peat slurry treated seed (8.0 t ha⁻¹) was highest, while coated seed crops were lowest (6.0 t ha⁻¹). The effects of sowing date carried through to the second year with lower DM yields from SD4 and SD5 (6.0 ± 0.18 t ha⁻¹) compared with 7.3 ± 0.18 t ha⁻¹ from the earlier sowing dates.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsalfalfa; ALOSCA®; bare seed; coated seed; Ensifer meliloti; peat slurry treated seed; rhizobia; sowing date; ALOSCA (R)
TypeConference Contribution - Published (Conference Paper)
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