The effect of Rhizobium seed inoculation on yields and quality of forage and seed of Berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) and its impact on soil fertility and smallholder farmer’s income

Muhammad Tufail, Gaye Krebs, J Ahmad, Alison Southwell, John Piltz, Peter Wynn

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A field experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of Rhizobium seed inoculation on forage and seed yield
components and the forage quality of berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum). The experiment comprised of two
treatments, seed inoculation with Rhizobium trifolii and the non-inoculation (control). The results revealed that the seed
inoculation significantly affected (P<0.005) and produced maximum number of stems/m2 (348.2), plant height (24.4cm),
green forage yield (39.9 t/ha), dry matter yield (5.54 t/ha), number of heads per m2 (339), number of seeds per head
(24.5), 1000-seed weight (3.851 g) and predicted seed yield (320 kg/ha) as compared to non-inoculated plots. The similar
trend of results was also found in the forage quality parameters and seed inoculation produced maximum values of
neutral detergent fiber (26.5%), crude protein (28.6%) and water soluble carbohydrates (2.02%). However, the acid
detergent fiber (21.0%) and metabolisable energy (10.7%) were found to be non-significant. The use of Rhizobium
inoculum also added available nitrogen (N) to soil after the crop increasing available N to 0.0414% as compared to
0.0283% in the non-inoculated control. The use of Rhizobium trifolii inoculum in combination with the improved variety
Agaitti Berseem-2002, produced an additional net income of PKR 111,913 Rs/ha (US$ 1145/ha) compared to noninoculated plots.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1493-1500
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Animal and Plant Sciences
Volume28
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

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