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The effect of undersowing wheat with clovers on wheat grain yield, total crop residue yield, and nutritive value of straw and fodder grown on Vertisol in Ethiopia  [1993]

Tekalign Mamo (Alemaya University of Agriculture, Debre Zeit (Ethiopia)) Abate Tedla (ILCA, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)) Teklu Erkosa ILCA, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) [Corporate Author]

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Field studies were conducted at various Vertisol sites between 1987-1989 in order to assess the effects of clover undersowings on grain, straw, total crop residue, biomass and nutritive value of straw and fodder of several wheat varieties. Results showed that clover mixtures in association with wheat varieties did not cause significant wheat grain yield reductions but the system increased significantly the total fodder yield compared with the straw produced by wheat varieties grown in pure stands. Furthermore, the growth of clovers in combination with wheat varieties increased significantly CP and IVOMO contents of total fodder (wheat straw plus clovers), suggesting that high quality crop residue can be achieved by growing clovers with wheat. In addition, NDF content was reduced in the wheat straw/clover combination, confirming that the quality of straw from wheat varieties grown in pure stand is inferior to that of the total fodder from the wheat/clover intercropping. On-farm studies are now being conducted in order to verify the improvement in total crop residue production and also the quality of wheat crop residue as the result of the clovers association and to demonstrate to the farmer that the improved system would improve livestock performance in mixed farming systems in the Ethiopian highlands.