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Evaluation for grazing tolerance in alfalfa

Bruce, David R. A..

Titre : Evaluation for grazing tolerance in alfalfa

Auteur : Bruce, David R. A..

Université de soutenance : UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA


Knowledge of plant characteris t ics that are associated with grazing tolerance of alfalfa (Medicago safiva L. ) would help in the development of cultivars that are tolerant of close continuous grazing, The objectives of this study were to characterize a broad range of cultivars for tolerance to grazing and evaluate these cultivars for traits that have been associated with grazing tolerance within one grazing season. A series of 10 experiments were established from seed (Glenlea, MB ; Brandon, MB) or from transplants (Portage la Prairie, MB) and were subjected to either close continuous grazing or rotational grazing with beef cat t le. Cultivars were evaluated ground cover, stand density, stem production and decumbency , crown area, crown bud production, secondary root number, crown deptb, nitrogen concentration and total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC) during each grazing season. There were few differences between cultivars for stand persistence after one season of grazing at al1 locations. There was no ground cover correlation between continuous and rotational grazing in microplots (r=0.03, p<0,82) and a low correlation for large plots (r=0.36, p


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