108206 Establishment of a Perennial Legume with Sorghum-Sudangrass As a Companion Crop.
Poster Number 705
Establishment of a Perennial Legume with Sorghum-Sudangrass as a Companion Crop
Martina La Vallie, John A. Guretzky, Walter Schacht, Daren D. Redfearn, and Bruce E. Anderson
Dept. of Agronomy and Horticulture, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln
Forage crop yields can be limited during the growing season based on crop optimum production peaks. This study was conducted to determine whether sorghum-sudangrass is a compatible annual warm-season companion crop to perennial legumes during the legume establishment year. Six legume species were studied; alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. Ranger), red clover (Trifolium pretense L. Medium), Illinois bundleflower [Desmanthus illinoensis (Michs.) MacM.], roundhead lespedeza (Lespedeza capitate Michx.), purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea Vent.), and birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus coniculatus L. Norcen). The effects of harvesting time which varied in either three or four harvests collected per plot throughout the summer, along with legume species, and sorghum-sudangrass presence as a companion crop on forage production yield were studied in Lincoln, NE. In 2016, the data revealed that the addition of sorghum-sudangrass increased overall forage yield. Increase in total production came at a cost to the legume yield, as plots planted with sorghum-sudangrass had a lower yield for legumes than the yield for plots with legumes only. Differences between plots with sorghum-sudangrass and legume only plots will be evaluated in 2017 to determine the effect of sorghum-sudangrass on second-year stands of the perennial legumes. In the 2017 alfalfa will be the only legume of interest, and the effects of different seeding rates of sorghum-sudangrass will be examined to identify an optimum seeding rate. Results from this study will increase knowledge of options to increase forage production, the effects of a warm-season annual on legume establishment, and the success of sorghum-sudangrass as a companion crop.