Effects Of Alfalfa (Medicagoscutellata) and Barley (Hordeumvulgare) Intercropping Patterns on Dry Matter Yield, and Some of Qualitative Characteristics of Forage and Silage



Efficient use of natural and biological cycles such as nitrogen fixation by legumes may stimulate yield of non-legumes crops in an intercropped system. In order to evaluate spring barley (H) and annual alfalfa (M) intercropping, a study was conducted in the research field of University of Tehran (located in karaj) during 2009-2010 growing season. In this research, a randomized complete block design with 4 replications and 14 treatments were used. Treatments include: H1:1M, H2:2M, H4:4M, H6:6M, H6:2M, H4:2M, H2:4M, H2:6M, H100%:20%M, H100%:40%M, H40%:100%M, H20%:100%M and two additional treatments of barley and alfalfa sole intercropping were established. The highest cumulative dry forage yield was achieved from treatment H1:1M (2934 Kg/ha). The maximum forage crude protein (CPf=30.87%), dry matter digestibility (DMDf=76.57%) and silage crude protein (CPs=17.88%) was detected in sole culture of alfalfa. Also, the highest silage dry matter digestibility (DMDs=31.37%) and silage ash (18.73%) belong to H4:2M, H6:2M, respectively. The highest land equivalent ratio (LER=1.232), and relative crowding coefficient (RCC=2.60) was detected for H1:1M mixture. Our results suggested that the best mixture is H1:1M for quantity yield. For achieving better quality, more percentage of alfalfa in mixtures is necessary.