Alfalfa

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Where

Italy

Crop

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa),
2nd year of cultivation

Soil Type

Clayey soil, pH 8

When

Application: 27 December 2019
4 cuts: 4 May, 12 June, 16 July and 26 August 2020

Measurements

Yield, dry matter (%), proteins, and RFV (Relative Feed Value)

Polysulphate application enhanced the quality of the alfalfa, increasing the protein content by 9.1% and the Relative Feed Value (RFV) by 9.6%.

Location

Ravenna, Italy.

Objective

To evaluate the effect of Polysulphate on the yield and quality of alfalfa in Northern Italy.

Treatments

The trial consisted of strip plots with 4 replicates. The 3 treatments were a control; Polysulphate applied at 150 kg/ha; and Polysulphate applied at 300 kg/ha. As per the farmer’s usual practice, the alfalfa was grown in rotation with wheat.

Results

  • Polysulphate application generally increased the protein percentage and the Relative Feed Value (RFV). Protein content was significantly higher in the first cut with the application of 300 kg/ha of Polysulphate, and similar trends appeared in the other cuts, though not significant.
  • Considering the mean value of the four cuts, Polysulphate application at 300 kg/ha enhanced the quality parameters of the alfalfa. The protein percentage was increased by 9.1% and the RFV increased by 9.6% as compared to the control.
  • Drought in spring-summer limited the productivity of dry matter (16.2 tons/ha over the 4 cuts, on average). Dry matter production was similar across treatments, with no significant differences on the individual cuts nor in the cumulative production.

 


Higher letters indicate significant differences at P < 0.05.