Enhancing performance of berseem clover genotypes with better harvesting management through farmers’ participatory research at smallholder farms in Punjab

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Abstract

A field study was conducted on smallholder farmer fields between 2012 to 2014 to evaluate the performance of cv. Agaitti Berseem-2002, against local landraces exchanged between farmers (LBF1) or available from local markets (LBM1). The effects of genotype and harvesting regimen on forage production, quality and seed production were evaluated. Significant differences (P < 0.05) among genotypes and cutting treatments were recorded for forage and seed yields, and forage quality across all research sites in both years. Maximum cumulative fresh forage (89.7 t/ha) and dry matter (DM; 13.4 t/ha) yields were obtained with Agaitti Berseem-2002 when harvesting occurred five times over the season. However, maximum seed yield (1048 kg/ha) with higher 1000-seed weight (3.63 g) were obtained if forage was only harvested three times and the crop then left for seed set. Agaitti Berseem-2002 also produced forage with the higher crude protein content (27%), DM digestibility (69%), digestible organic matter (DM basis; 65%) and metabolizable energy content (10%) compared to the local landraces (LBF1 and LBM1). Therefore, the harvesting regimen for greatest economic return which produced optimum fresh and DM forage yields of highest nutritive values and maximum seed yield, were comprised of taking three forage cuts (at 65, 110 and 150 days after sowing) prior to seed harvest.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3545
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2020

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