The effect of row spacing and cover-crop on stolon development and the seed yield components of white clover cultivars of contrasting leaf size

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Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 1993
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Three white clover cultivars, S184 (small-leaved), Menna (medium-leaved) and Olwen (large-leaved), were broadcast or sown in 15, 30 or 60 cm drills at a seed rate of 3 kg ha-1. The three cultivars were either sown without a cover-crop or sown under a cover-crop of spring barley (cv. Crescent) or peas (cv. Countess). The effects of these methods of establishment on the stolon growth and components of seed yield were subsequently measured.

Stolon growth and development was influenced by row spacing, cultivar and season. The overall plant response at all but the widest row spacing (60 cm) was to increase stolon growth such that inflorescence production, the number and proportion of ripe inflorescences and the other seed yield components were unaffected by row spacing. Cultivars differed in their response to row spacing. Cultivar Olwen produced most inflorescences and more ripe inflorescences when broadcast, cv. S184 when sown at 60 cm row spacing and cv. Menna at 15 or 30 cm row spacing. Cultivars also differed in their response to cover-crop, with cvs Menna and S184 producing more inflorescences and more ripe inflorescences when sown under barley and peas than when pure sown. The inflorescence production of cv. Olwen was not influenced by cover-crop.

The relationship between vegetative and reproductive growth is discussed in relation to establishment, cultivar and climate and the possible implications for the establishment of white clover seed crops in the UK