Spring defoliation of white clover seed crops. 2. Potential harvestable seed yield and seed yield components of contrasting white clover cultivars

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Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-316
Number of pages7
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Volume48
Issue number3
DOI
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 1993
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Abstract

The effects of different spring defoliation managements on potential harvestable seed yield and seed yield components of three contrasting white clover cultivars were assessed. The small-leaved cv. S184 produced more but smaller inflorescences than the large-leaved cv. Olwen and Menna, a medium-leaved cultivar. Cultivar Olwen, however, produced more ripe and brown (nearly ripe) inflorescences with more florets, seeds per floret and a higher seed yield per ten inflorescences than the other cultivars. Potential harvestable seed yield and individual seed yield components were only influenced by defoliation after bud emergence, as defoliation before bud emergence had no effect on seed yield components. Defoliation after bud emergence had a similar effect on all cultivars: the number of ripe inflorescences was unaffected by defoliation but the number of brown and therefore harvestable (ripe + brown) inflorescences was highest following defoliation three weeks after bud emergence. Florets per inflorescence, seed per floret, 1000 seed weight, seed yield per ten inflorescences and potential harvestable seed yield were not influenced by defoliation after bud emergence. Season had a significant effect on seed yield components and influenced the effect of defoliation treatments, emphasizing the importance of climate in white clover seed production. The results are discussed in relation to the spring defoliation of white clover seed crops, harvesting techniques and the provision of guidelines for optimizing seed yield