Department of Agriculture
Master of Science
Companion crops are commomly seeded with alfalfa in the spring as an establishment method. The objectives of this research were to evaluate the performance of seedling Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in terms of yield when grown with spring oats (Avena sativa) as a companion crop and to evaluate the amount of weed control in the alfalfa companion crop seeding, under various management practices. Six establishment treatments were imposed: (1) solo-seeded alfalfa raised according to standard procedures recommended for Kentucky, (2) solo-seeded alfalfa with a herbicide treatment, (3) alfalfa seeded with an oat companion crop and treated with a herbicide, (4) alfalfa seeded with an oat companion crop with harvest at 10cm to 21cm of height, (5) alfalfa seeded with an oat companion crop, oats removed for haylage, and (6) alfalfa seeded with an oat companion crop, allowing the oats to produce seed before harvest. In the first seeding year (1992) the alfalfa and oat companion crop that was treated with a grass herbicide had siginificantly higher yields than the check or alfalfa and oat companion crop that was allowed to produce seed. In the second seeding year (1993) there were no significant differences among the establishment methods. The second year of the 1992 seeding experiment had unexpected results. The alfalfa and oat companion crop treated with a grass herbicide had greater yields compared to all other treatments except the alfalfa and haylage oat companion crop treatment. These results indicate that proper management of the companion crop system for highest yields and best performance of alfalfa has not been determined or established.
Agriculture | Agronomy and Crop Sciences
Hurley, Shannon, "Oats as a Companion Crop for Alfalfa: Establishment Methods" (1994). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 971.