Growth of lucerne

Langer, R. H. M.
Conference Contribution - published
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::0703 Crop and Pasture Production
There can be few other forage plants which have stimulated a greater volume of research work than lucerne. Although part of the reason for this sustained interest may be its great antiquity as a fodder plant, for lucerne has a documented history of over 2,000 years, of greater importance has undoubtedly been its ability to produce high yields of good quality forage, especially under dry conditions. Despite this considerable amount of attention, there are very many aspects of this plant which continue to challenge the scientist and which to the farmer. The management oF ose serious problems lucerne for optimum yield is probably the most important of these partially solved questions, largely because of the almost infinite number of ways in which soil, climate, cutting and grazing intensity and frequency can interact. In view of this enormous variability it would be devise simple and unalterable recipes uite impossible to 9 or lucerne farming. What is more rewarding and of greater lasting value is to understand how this plant grows and how best to use its advantages and minimize its deficiencies, based on a firm knowledge of the principles involved. This paper will therefore trace the life-history of lucerne, and then attempt to draw from it conclusions which can be applied to management in the field.
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