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In Merelbeke (Flanders), red clover (Trifolium repens) and lucerne (Medicago sativa) were sown in a pure stand and in combination with white clover (Trifolium pratense) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) in two, two-year field trials (A: 2015-2016 and B: 2016-2017). All these treatments were sown in spring
with and without peas (Pisum sativum). Over the year, the average dry matter (DMY) production of the legume/grass mixtures with peas as a cover crop was significantly higher (+18%) in comparison with the same mixtures without peas in both experiments in the installation year. A significant difference in crude protein yield (CP) of + 7% was noted between treatments with and without peas in experiment A and + 14% in experiment B. Due to the difference in N fixation capacity of the legumes and the low N fertilisation of perennial ryegrass monoculture, the additional CP production by adding peas as cover crop
is quite different between pure legumes (0.03 - 0.16 Mg CP ha-1), legume/perennial ryegrass mixtures (0.07 - 0.26 Mg CP ha-1) and pure perennial ryegrass (0.68 - 0.66 Mg CP ha-1). In both experiments no effect of the cover crop was observed in the second year.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable meat and milk production from grasslands : Proceedings of the 27yh General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Publication date17-Jun-2018
ISBN (Print)978-1-84170-643-6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-84170-644-3
Publication statusPublished - 17-Jun-2018
Event27th General meeting of the European Grassland Federation - Cork, Ireland
Duration: 17-Jun-201821-Jun-2018

ID: 6270724