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Chilean Journal of Agricultural Research
Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, INIA
ISSN: 0718-5820
EISSN: 0718-5839
Vol. 71, No. 3, 2011, pp. 357-369
Bioline Code: cj11043
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Chilean Journal of Agricultural Research, Vol. 71, No. 3, 2011, pp. 357-369

 en EVALUATION OF PERENNIAL FORAGE LEGUMES AND HERBS IN SIX MEDITERRANEAN ENVIRONMENTS
Real, Daniel; Li, Guangdi D.; Clark, Steve; Albertsen, Tony O.; Hayes, Richard C.; Denton, Matt D.; D'Antuono, Mario F. & Dear, B.S.

Abstract

There is an absence of drought tolerant herbaceous perennial forage legume and herb options other than lucerne ( Medicago sativa check for this species in other resources L.) for environments with Mediterranean-like climates common in extensive areas of Southern Australia, the Mediterranean basin, and Chile. Therefore, a collection of 174 forage perennial legume and herb entries from 103 species and 32 genera was evaluated for adaptation in a diverse range of Mediterranean climatic environments in Southern Australia. The seasonal rainfall distribution varied from moderately to highly winter dominant with long term average annual rainfall ranging from 318 to 655 mm. The entries were rated for productivity and persistence over 3 yr. The 12 entries identified as the most promising for winter, summer, or all-year round production included Bituminaria bituminosa check for this species in other resources (L.) C.H. Stirt. var. albomarginata; Cichorium intybus check for this species in other resources L.; Cullen australasicum check for this species in other resources (Schltdl.) J.W. Grimes; Dorycnium hirsutum check for this species in other resources (L.) Ser.; Kennedia prostrata check for this species in other resources R. Br.; Lotononis bainesii check for this species in other resources Baker, Lotus pedunculatus check for this species in other resources Cav.; L. corniculatus check for this species in other resources L.; L. cytisoides check for this species in other resources L.; Medicago sativa subsp. sativa L.; Medicago sativa subsp. caerulea (Less. ex Ledeb.) Schmalh., and M. sativa subsp. falcata (L.) Arcang. These entries maintained production and persisted for the period of the evaluation, with the exception of C. intybus and L. corniculatus that declined in persistence over time. The potential role of these species in extensive grazing systems in Mediterranean climatic zones, their attributes and limitations, and current progress in developing them as useful forage plants was discussed.

Keywords
Bituminaria, Lotus, herbage yield, legume persistence, Australian native germplasm

 
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