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A Comparison of Weeds Interference and Non-Interference at Different Planting Densities, on Yield, Nutritional Value and Some Morphological Traits of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)

A Comparison of Weeds Interference and Non-Interference at Different Planting Densities, on Yield, Nutritional Value and Some Morphological Traits of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)

Mohammad Raoofi and Mohammad Taghi Alebrahim

Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources,University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran

m_ebrahim@uma.ac.ir

ABSTRACT

In this study, an experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of weed interference and non-interference in different densities of alfalfa on yield, nutritional value and some morphological traits of alfalfa, forage crop, as factorial and based on a randomized complete block design with three replications in two cuttings during 2013-14 crop years. The experimental treatments were weed interference and non-interference in two levels (hand weeding and non-hand weeding) and plant density in four levels (20, 40, 60 and 80 stems per square meter). The results obtained in two cuttings in the third year of established alfalfa showed that the weeds caused quantitative and qualitative reduction in alfalfa. Alfalfa in the second cutting had better growth compared to the first cutting, so that the plant produced the highest fresh and dry yield in the second cutting. However, weed non-interference increased the levels of superior morphological traits of alfalfa, such as fresh and dry yield, plant height, and number of leaves per plant, number of main-stem nodes, leaf area and percentage of vegetation cover as well as increased the nutritional value of alfalfa in terms of nutrient elements, proteins and factors such as ADF, Ash, CF, NDF.

 

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Sarhad Journal of Agriculture

September

Vol. 35, Iss. 3, Pages 663-1019

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