Tropical Grasslands (1996) Volume 30, 193200
Influence of sowing date and seedbed preparation on herbage production and botanical composition of tropical grass–clover pastures oversown with Midmar ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) for forage production during the dry season
G.J. MANYAWU and A.U.K. MADZUDZO
Department of Research and Specialist Services, Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, and Water Development, Harare, Zimbabwe
Three experiments were conducted to assess the feasibility of establishing irrigated Midmar ryegrass into resident grass–clover (Trifolium semipilosum) pastures, with the objective of growing a green forage for use during the dry season. Three techniques of seedbed preparation, namely: slash and leave trash (SBP 1); slash and remove trash (SBP 2); and slash, remove trash and disc (SBP 3) were tested. In Experiment 1 (1988), ryegrass was oversown into kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum)–clover pastures soon after imposing the seedbed treatments. In Experiments 2 and 3 (1988 and 1989, respectively), the same seedbed treatments were imposed at 3 sowing dates (early March, early April and early May) in stargrass 2 (Cynodon nlemfluensis) clover pastures. After allowing a minimum of 8 weeks for establishment, herbage was harvested. Thereafter, herbage yields, pasture botanical composition and nutritive value were measured at 4-weekly intervals. After each harvest, 40 kg/ha N was applied.