The University of Arizona

Establishment and survival of Illinois bundleflower inter-seeded into an established kleingrass pasture.

R.L. Dovel, M.A. Hussey, E.C. Holt


The introduction of perennial legumes into warm-season grass pastures has been shown to improve both forage quality and animal performance. Illinois bundleflower (Desmanthus illinoensis (Michs.) MacM.) appears to have potential for pasture and range interseeding. This study investigated establishment methods and the competitive ability and longevity of this species when interseeded into kleingrass (Panicum coloratum L.) swards. Sabine Illinois bundleflower was drilled or broadcast into a mature kleingrass pasture either intact or suppressed by disking, paraquat (1-dimethyl-4-4 dipyridinium dichloride), or mefluidide (N-[2,4 dimethyl-5 (trifuromethyl) sulfonyl-amino-phenyl]acetamide). Seed was sown in broadcast plots at 6.8 kg PLS/ha compared to 3.4 kg PLS/ha in drilled plots. Establishment data were only collected for 1 year. The establishment year had a wetter than normal spring. Treatment effects on legume establishment could differ substantially from those found in this study in drier years. Both paraquat and disking treatments resulted in good establishment of the legume (greater than 10 seedlings m-2 in the establishment year). With the exception of disked plots, broadcasting at twice the rate of drilled plots resulted in similar seedling legume densities between the 2 seeding methods. Illinois bundleflower proved to be quite competitive under the conditions of this study. The legume component increased from 14% in the establishment year to 52% by the third year after establishment. Individual Illinois bundleflower plants survived for the 4 years of the study. Interseeding increased total plot yield in the second, third, and fourth years after establishment. Interseeded plots produced more biomass than noninterseeded plots 1, 2, and 3 years after interseeding.


paraquat;direct seeding;plowing;crop establishment;Panicum coloratum;mixed pastures;Desmanthus illinoensis;broadcasting;sown grasslands;competitive ability;Desmanthus;biomass production;plant density;Texas;plant competition

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