THE EFFECT OF COMPANION GRASSES ON TIMOTHY PRODUCTION IN SWARDS CUT FOR CONSERVATION

J. Frame*, R. D. Harkess, I. V. Hunt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To assess the effect of companion grasses on timothy productivity, swards of timothy sown alone or with one of eight companion grasses were harvested as for silage four times per year for two years. The companion grasses were: diploid perennial ryegrasses S24 and S23; tetraploid perennial ryegrasses Reveille and Taptoe; meadow fescues S215 and S53 and cocksfoots Trifolium and S143. Averaged over the N application rates (226, 339 and 452 kg N/ha per year) the total herhage yields of timothy/companion‐grass mixtures were all significantly superior to that from timothy alone in the first year. Only perennial ryegrass S24 and the cocksfoot mixtures significantly outyielded timothy alone in the second year. Winterkill hecame evident in April of the second year and pure timothy and timothy/meadow‐fescue swards were least affected. Over all swards, timothy DM increased hy a mean of 19% from the first to the second year, compared with a fall of 20% in total herhage DM. The contrihution of timothy herhage to the mixtures was very low with companions other than meadow fescue. Late‐heading varieties were more compatihie than early‐heading varieties, and tetraploid ryegrasses were more compatihie than diploid ryegrasses. It is concluded that if the inherently valuahle characteristics of timothy are to he exploited, it should not he sovm with aggressive companion grasses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-218
Number of pages6
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - Dec 1973

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