عنوان مقاله [English]
Background and Objectives
The cutting schedule imposes strong effects on yield and forage quality of alfalfa varieties. In Khuzestan province (south west of Iran), there are many influential factors on alfalfa cutting time such as temperature, sunlight duration, height of water table and amounts of salts in soil. The aim of this research was to evaluate forage production in continuous cuttings of alfalfa varieties in saline soils of Ahvaz conditions.
Materials and Methods
In order to study the effect of cutting time on quantitative and qualitative yield of alfalfa varieties an experiment was carried out as split plots in time, based on randomized complete blocks design (RCBD) with four replications in saline soil (Electrical conductivity=7.5 ds.m-1) at the research farm of Khuzestan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center in 2011 and 2012 crop seasons. The main plot included varieties (Mesasirca, Baghdadi, Nikshahri and Bami) and the sub plot included three cutting times (23 Aug., 1 Oct. and 20 Dec.). These cutting times characterized, summer cut, first autumn cut and second autumn cut. Nine traits including Fresh Forage yield, Dry Forage yield, Leaf stem Ratio, Crude protein, Crude fiber, Na concentration in plant, Ca concentration in plant, Na/Ca were determined. Concentrations of Na and Ca in plant were assessed by using flame photometer.
The results of ANOVA showed that genotypes had a significant effect on all of traits, except Leaf Stem ratio, Ca concentration in plan, Na /Ca. The highest dry forage yield (4.93 t.ha-1) and fresh forage yield (15.15 t.ha-1) belonged to Baghdadi in the second autumn cut. The lowest Crude Fiber percentage was owned by Bami in the second autumn cut (21.32%) and Mesasirca in the second autumn cut (21.35%) which did not have a significant difference with each other. The highest amount of Na/Ca trait belonged to Baghdadi in the first autumn cut and the lowest Na/Ca belonged to Bami in summer cut. Baghdadi variety at the second cutting treatment has the highest (0.95%) Na concentration and Nickshahri at summer cutting has the lowest amount of Na (0.44%). Mesasersa (45.9 cm) and Baghdadi (45 cm) varieties had the highest plant height; also, Nickshahri (41.1 cm) and Bami (43.1 cm) had the lowest plant height.
Considering results of this research, it is suggested that among varieties, Mesasirca and Baghdadi were the best genotypes and the second autumn cut has suitable conditions for producing of alfalfa high forage quantity and quality.
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