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On-line version ISSN 2521-9766Print version ISSN 1405-3195


ALVAREZ-VAZQUEZ, Perpetuo et al. Productive performance of Lotus corniculatus L. dependent on harvest strategy. Agrociencia [online]. 2018, vol.52, n.8, pp.1081-1093. ISSN 2521-9766.

Harvest efficiency is one of the main factors that define productivity of a grassland. In Lotus species, productive response has not been studied in function of the amount of intercepted light. This study was conducted in the Colegio de Postgraduados, Montecillo, Texcoco, Mexico, in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 crop cycles with the objective of determining the production of L. corniculatus in function of the percentage (90, 95 and 100 %) of light intercepted (LI) and a fixed cutting (CF) defined seasonally. The hypothesis was that higher production of forage would be obtained with 95 % LI. The experimental design was random blocks in divided plots, and the treatments were LI and CF with three replications. Annual yield of forage showed differences among treatments only in the second year. Forage yield of CF was lower (22 844 kg MS ha-1) than the average with 90, 95 and 100 % LI (32 173 kg MS ha-1). Seasonal yield was higher in spring (10 461 kg MS ha-1) relative to the fall and winter average (5750 kg MS ha-1). Weeds contributed (4 %) to annual yield and leaves (58 %) in spring with 95 % LI. With 95 and 100 % LI greater heights (23 cm) were recorded, and in CF the heights were lower (19 cm) in both years. Of the seasons, taller plants (24 cm) grew in the spring and shorter plants in autumn and winter (19 cm). In the second year, there was a higher mean annual leaf: stem ratio in CF (2.8:1), mainly in autumn (3.3:1). The best productive performance of L. corniculatus was with 90, 95 and 100 % LI. The highest contribution of leaf was with 95 % LI, mainly in spring. In conclusion, although there were not differences between the percentages of intercepted light, at 95% the largest amount of leaf was produced, and thus we consider it to be the best management strategy. Nevertheless, because it is a species recently characterized in Mexico, it is necessary to conduct more research in different environment types.

Keywords : Lotus corniculatus L.; forage yield; productive performance; intercepted light; cutting interval.

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