LIME, PHOSPHORUS AND SULPHUR RESPONSE OF FRENCH SERRADELLA (ORNITHOPUS SATIVUS) GROWN IN AN ACID UPLAND SOIL
Published: 1 Jun 2014
Abstract: Soil acidity severely restricts legume persistence and growth in grazed upland agriculture in New Zealand. An alternative and potentially acid tolerant forage legume, French serradella (Ornithopus sativus), was examined in a climate controlled experiment. Plants were grown for 48 weeks in an acid (pHH20 4.9) upland soil and shoot yield measured every 8 weeks. Treatments were fully replicated combinations of lime (CaCO3; 0, 2, 4 or 8 t ha-1), phosphorus (P; 0, 50, 150 or 500 mg P L soil-1) plus various controls. Shoot yield varied significantly between lime treatments (P < 0.001), but were not strongly affected by P rate. Importantly, yields on the unlimed control treatments were 85% of maximum yield, suggesting that high yields are potentially achievable on even very acid soils. French serradella grew 16.9 g DM pot-1 compared to 5.3 g DM pot-1 for the commonly grown reference species, subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum). French serradella showed significant potential as a new pasture legume suitable for acidic upland soils.
Keywords: french serradella, soil acidity, yield, lime, phosphorus
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