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V. Improvement of Legume Seedling Vigor

V. Improvement of Legume Seedling Vigor

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LEGUME SEEDLING GROWTH



13 1



to excessive soil compaction (Tesar and Jackobs, 1972). Firming is best accomplished by rolling with a heavy roller or by cultipacking. If the needed equipment is not available for this, a weighted spike harrow or an irrigation float or

leveler will compact the soil before seeding.

VII. Seeding Forage Legumes



A. SEED TREATMENT



Before seeding, legume seed should be inoculated with symbiotic bacteria

(Rhizobium spp .).

The symbiotic bacteria are specific for many legumes such as birdsfoot trefoil

and sainfoin but in some cases bacteria will cross-inoculate with several species.

Inoculation is essential when a legume is seeded in an area for the first time, For

successful legume inoculation the following procedures should be adhered to:

1. Select the proper inoculant for the legume t o be grown.

2. Store the commercial culture in a cool, dark place until it will be used.

3. Plant seed within 48 hours after inoculation, or reinoculate.

4. Inoculate in all cases of doubt, and always inoculate on new land.

Small amounts of seed and inoculant may be mixed in a tub or bucket. Larger

amounts may be mixed in a small concrete mixer or by hand on a cement floor

or on the bottom of a truck bed. Addition of sticking agents such as milk or

diluted syrup will help inoculant adhere to seed, Most companies that sell

inoculant also sell sticking agents.



B. CALCULATION OF SEEDING RATES



Seeding rates are recommended to provide a given number of viable seeds per

linear meter of drill row. The percentage of viable seed in a seed lot is calculated

by multiplying germination percentage by purity percentage and dividing by

100. The value obtained is called pure live seed index (PLS). Thus if a seed lot

has a percentage germination and purity of 90 and 85, respectively, the PLS is

90 X SS/lOO = 76.5%. For legumes, the percentage of hard seed is added to the

germination percentage before multiplying it by the purity percentage.

The number of seeds planted per meter of row is dependent upon the number

of seeds per kilogram, the kilograms of seed planted per hectare (ha) and row

spacing. It may be computed as follows:

seed per meter of



= Number of PLS/kg X planting rate in Kg PLS/ha



row m in ha at width to be planted



132



C . S . COOPER



Thus if a species contains 220,000 PLS/kg, and a planting rate of 6 kg PLS/ha

is desired with 15-cm row spacing, viable seed per linear meter of row would be:

220’ooo

66,666



=



19.8 viable seeds per row meter



The number of seeds that would be seeded per meter of row with a seeding

rate of 1 kg/ha and with several row spacings is shown for some common forage

legumes in Table I. These values are based on seeds per kilogram for nontested

seed lots. To obtain viable seed, multiply values given by 100 and divide by the

percent PLS of the seed lot to be planted.

If one desires to seed a given number of viable seeds per linear meter, he can

calculate seeding rate. For example, if 60 viable seed per meter of row is desired

in 30-cm rows and the seed lot contains 220,000 PLS/kg, computation of

seeding rate of PLS/ha would be:

Planting rate in kg PLS =



Number of viable seed desired per row m X row m/ha

Number of PLS kg



or

Planting rate in kg PLS/ha = 6o 33’333 = 9.1 @/ha

220,000



The numbers of row meter per hectare for different row spacings are as

follows:

Row spacing (cm)



Row meter per hectare



15



30



45



60



90



66,666



33,333



22,222



16,666



11,111



Seeding rates for forage legumes vary from region to region and within regions

depending upon seeding site condition. More seeds are sown than number of

plants needed. In humid regions 70% emergence is considered excellent with

good seeding techniques (Tesar and Jackobs, 1972) and the seedlings surviving

the first year are 40 to 50% of the seed sown. A seeding rate of 11.2 kg/ha which

was reported as average for the humid northeastern states in 1962 gave 538 seeds

per square meter. From this seed 215 to 269 plants per square meter survived

the first year. Jackobs and Miller (1970) have shown that this number will give

maximum yield in the first harvest year in Illinois. They also report that 60 to

78 plants per square meter is adequate for maximum yield in subsequent years.

In Montana 7.8 kg/ha of alfalfa provides adequate stands under irrigation.



133



LEGUME SEEDLING GROWTH



TABLE I

Seed per Meter of Row for Some Common Forage Legumes Seeded at a Seeding Rate of

1 Kg/Ha at Different Row Spacings

Row spacing in cm

SDecies



Common name



Seeds/kg



15



30



90



60

~



Astragalus cicer L.

Coronilla varia L.

Lespedeza cuneata Don.

Lespedeza stipulacea Maxim.

Lespedeza striata Hook Lk Am.

Medicago sativa L.

Melilotus alba Desr.

Melilotus officinalis Lam.

Lotus cornidatus ..I

Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.

Trifolium fragiferum L.

Trifoliurn hybridum L.

Trifolium pratense L.

Trifolium repens L.

Trifolium subterraneum L.

Vicia sativa L.



Cicer milk vetch

280,950 4.2

Crown vetch

242,281 3.6

Sericea lespedeza

772,574 11.6

Korean lespedeza

496,654 7.4

419,298 6.3

Common lespedeza

Alfalfa

4 4 1,472 6.6

White sweet clover

513,952 8.6

Yellow sweet clover

573,952 8.6

Birdsfoot trefoil

827,757 12.4

Sainfoin

66,220 1.0

Strawberry clover

662,208 9.9

Alsike clover

1,545,152 23.2

Red clover

607,023 9.1

White clover

1,765,887 26.4

Subterranean clover

143,471 2.2

Common vetch

15,450 0.2



8.4 16.8 25.3

7.3 14.5 21.6

23.2 46.3 69.6

14.9 29.8 44.4

12.6 25.2 37.8

13.2 26.5 39.6

17.2 34.4 51.6

17.2 34.4 51.6

24.8 49.6 74.4

4.0

2.0

6.0

19.9 39.7 59.4

46.4 92.7 139.2

18.2 36.4 54.6

53.0 105.9 158.4

4.4

8.8 13.2

0.8

1.2

0.4



C. DRILL CALIBRATION



Dnlls may be calibrated by weighlng the seed delivered over a given area or by

converting kilograms of seed per hectare to number of seeds per row meter and

then counting the number of seeds delivered per meter of row. The latter

method is the easiest. Run the drill over hard ground or a canvas tarp and count

the seed per meter of row. Adjust drill setting until desired number is obtained.

Table I gives the number of seed per meter of row of a number of legumes at a 1

kg/ha seeding rate and at different row spacings. To obtain number of seeds per

row meter multiply number of kilograms of PLS to be seeded by the value given

for the row spacing to be used. For example, at a 10-kg PLS rate of seeding for

alfalfa seeded in 15-cm row spacing, 66 seeds should be seeded per meter of row.

For calibrating drills for seeding mixtures, mix the grass and legume in proper

proportion and then count the number of seed of the legume per meter. Grass

seed will automatically be seeded in the right proportion.

Legumes and grasses establish best when seeded in alternate rows where they

don’t compete against each other in early stages of development. Blocking off

every other feed in the grain box for grass seed and alternate feeds in the legume

box is an easy method of alternate row seedings. One-half-kilogram cloth bags

filed with sand effectively block feeds.



134



C. S. COOPER



D. SEEDING



Forage legume seed may be broadcast or drilled. Broadcast seedings are seldom

successful in the arid regions of the West but sometimes are successful in humid

areas. Best results are obtained if seed is broadcast in early spring when the soil

surface is cracked from freezing and thawing. Broadcast seed should be covered

by harrowing lightly.

Cultipacker seeders are used extensively for legume seedings. They consist of

two corrugated rollers. The first roller firms the soil and leaves a small groove up

to 2.5 cm deep. Seed, metered from a drill box, is broadcast into the grooves.

The second roller covers the seed and firms the soil around it.

Grain drills with a legume seed box do an excellent job of seeding, provided

that the seedbed is firm and/or depth bands are used. Depth bands can be made

locally or purchased from equipment dealers.

The single disk drill is excellent for seeding hard and brushy seedbeds. Double

disk drills are better on stubble or well-prepared seedbeds. Deep furrow drills

place the seed in the bottom of a furrow, but it is covered at the normal seeding

depth. These drills are effective in arid regions where snow and rainfall tend to

concentrate in the bottom of the furrow. A danger of deep furrow planting is

that in loose or erodable soils the furrows may fill in and cover the seed too

deeply.

The most reliable seeding method, where soil fertility is a problem, is band

seeding. With this method, special drills place fertilizer in a band 3-6 cm deep.

Seed is then drilled directly over the fertilizer band at a depth of 0.5 to 1.5 cm

and the soil is firmed over the seed with press wheels. Press wheels are an asset to

any drill when seeding legumes.



E. SOD SEEDING



Sod seeding has increased with the improvement of seeding equipment and the

development of herbicides to control competition. Seeding success with no-till

equipment is dependent upon: (1) reduction of competition, ( 2 ) slicing the sod

for seed placement, (3) placement of seed at the proper depth, (4) firming soil

over the seed, and ( 5 ) adequate moisture and fertility for good germination and

growth. In Maryland, an offset concave disk placed between the leading straight

coulter and spearpoint opener of a commercial grassland drill has consistently

given good stands of birdsfoot trefoil and crown vetch. Deere and Co. is

marketing a Power-Till seeder developed by the University of Kentucky (Ackley,

1975). This machine has sawlike cutter wheels which cut through surface residue

and existing sod to open up a precise seed slot in the soil surface. Cutter wheels



TABLE I1

Seeding and Seeding Year Management Chart'

Time

(1) Prior to seeding



Prior to seeding



Operation



Select quality seed of

To help insure good stands of adapted

recommended varieties free

productive species

from weeds

Inoculate legume seed with proper To provide symbiotic bacteria for

nitrogen fixation

bacteria, if needed



Prior to seeding



Level field if gravity irrigation is

to be used

Prepare a firm seedbed



Prior to seeding



Provide adequate fertility



Prior to seeding



(2) At seeding



Purpose



Seed at recommended depth



(3) Immediately after seeding Frequent observation to note soil

crusting prior to emergence; if

crusting occurs, go over land

with light cultipacker



To insure uniform distribution of

irrigation water

To bring seed in close contact with

moisture and nutrients; prolongs

moisture retention for germination;

to help control depth of seeding

To stimulate development, decrease

competition



Results

Pastures with highly adapted

species; weed control

Production of nitrogen by

legumes for use by grass;

increased productivity; cheap

source of nitrogen

Increased productivity

Good uniform stands; rapid

emergence



Good stands and maximum

seedling growth



To allow seed to emerge with energy

available



Uniform emergence and good

stands



To break up soil crust to allow

emergence



Better emergence and stands



~~



(continued)



TABLE I1 (continued)

Time

(4) Dunng establishment



Operation



Purpose



Results



Frequent check of soil moisture; if To provide adequate water for seedling Rapid seedling development;

dry, apply enough water to wet

growth

seedling root zone

To increase photosynthetic activity of Vigorous seedlings, good stands;

Frequent observation of weed

higher yields in fust and

competition; if weed competition seedlings

strong, mow with guards set high or

subsequent production years

spray with proper herbicide



Cauti0ns:



(5) Do not seed with companion crop in close row spacing; if used, space companion crop in 18- to 21-inch Less competition to forage



rows. Use the same drill setting as normal for companion crop but plug 1/2 or 2/3 of spouts to obtain

row spacing.



seedlings; increases chances for

seeding success; increases forage

yields



(6) Avoid grazing until late fall of seeding year.



Better establishment. Less winter

injury; more productive stands



(7) Gear all management operations to meet needs of the forage seeding.



Seeding success



‘After Cooper et QL (1973).



LEGUME SEEDLING GROWTH



137



rotate in the direction of travel at 730 rpm, leave a slot 1.3 to 2.0 cm wide, and

deposit loose soil in the slot. Seed is metered into the seed slot and firmed with

packer wheels. A sprayer attachment then sprays a narrow band of herbicide,

approximately 10 cm wide over the slot area to retard plant competition until

seedlings have sufficient growth t o be competitive.



V I I I . Seeding Management Practices



Once legumes are seeded, periodic checking of the new seeding can pay

dividends. Soil crusts that form before emergence may be broken up with a light

cultipacker. Weed competition following emergence may be controlled with

chemicals such as 2-4-D-B or by clipping just above the young seedling. Management practices for seeding and establishing a new legume seeding are presented

in Table 11. Close adherence to these management principles will greatly increase

the chances of seeding success.

Aside from improving the vigor of legume seedlings, improvement of establishment practices is the major means of increasing seeding success. The often

recommended firm seedbed needed for good establishment is seldom obtained in

farm practice. Likewise, depth regulator bands which insure placement of seed at

desired depth are too seldom used. There is a major need for seeding equipment

designed specifically for seeding grasses and legumes. This equipment should

insure the placement of the seed at the proper depth in a firm seedbed. It should

also provide for simultaneous seeding of two species in alternate rows at

different depths and should provide for band placement of fertilizer below seed.

Proper application of the present state of knowledge concerning growth of

the legume seedling should obtain successful establishment of legumes.



REFERENCES



Ackley, I. W. 1975. Proc. N o Tillage Forage Symp., Faucett Cent. Tomorrow, Columbus,

Ohio pp. 53-71.

Anderson, S. R. 1955. Agron. J. 41,483-487.

Barton, L. V. 1947. Contrib. Boyce Thompson Inst. 14, 355-362.

Beveridge, J . L., and Wilsie, C. P. 1959. Agron. J. 51, 731-734.

Black, J. N. 1955. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 6 , 203.

Black, J. N. 1956. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 7, 98-109.

Black, J. N. 1957. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 8, 1-14.

Black, J. N. 1959. Herb. Abstr. 29, 235-241.

Blaser, R. E., Taylor, T., Griffith, W., and Skrdla, W. 1956. Agron. J. 48, 1 4 .

Brant, R. E., McKee, G. W., and Cleveland, R. W. 1971. Crop Sci. 11, 1-6.



138



C. S. COOPER



Carleton, A. E., and Cooper, C. S. 1972. Crop Sci. 12, 183-186.

Carleton, A. E., Wiesner, L. E., Dubbs, A. L., and Roath, C. W. 1967. Mont., Agric. Exp.

Stn., Bull. 614.

Carleton, A. E., Cooper, C. S., and Wiesner, L. E. 1968. Agron. J. 60, 81-84.

Carleton, A. E., Austin, R. D., Stroh, J . R., Wiesner, L. E., and Sheetz, J. G. 1971. Mont.,

Agric. Exp. Stn., Bull. 655.

Cooper, C. S. 1957. Agron, J. 49,473-477.

Cooper, C. S . 1966. Crop Sci. 6,63-66.

Cooper, C. S. 1967. Crop Sci, 7, 176-178.

Cooper, C. S., and Ferguson, H. 1964. Agron. J. 5 6 , 6 3 4 4 .

Cooper, C. S., and Fransen, S. C. 1974. Crop Sci. 14,732-735.

Cooper, C. S., and MacDonald, P. W. 1970. Crop Sci. 10, 136-139.

Cooper, C. S., Baldridge, D. E., and Roath, C. W. 1973. Mont., Agric. Exp. Sm., Bull. 622.

Derwyn, R., Whalley, B., McKell, C. M., and Green, L. R. 1966. Crop Sci. 6, 147-150.

Dotzenko, A. D., Cooper, C. S., Dobrenz, A. K., Laude, H. M., Massengale, M. A., and

Feltner, K. C. 1967. Colo., Agric. Exp. Stn., Tech. Bull, 97.

Draper, A. D., and Wilsie, C. P. 1965. Crop Sci. 5 , 3 13-3 1 5.

Erickson, L. C. 1946. J. Am. SOC.Agron. 38,964-973.

Fransen, S . C., and Cooper, C. S. 1976. Crop Sci. 16,434-437.

Gist, G. R., and Mott, G. 0. 1958. Agron. J. 50, 583-586.

Geiger, R. 1950. “The Climate Near the Ground” (M. N. Stewart, trans].) 4 8 2 pp. Harvard

Univ. Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. (“Das Klima der Bodennahen Luftschicht,” 2nd

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Gunn, C. R. 1972. In “Alfalfa Science and Technology” (C. H. Hanson, ed.), Agronomy

Monograph, Vol. 15, pp, 677-686. Am. SOC. Agron., Madison, Wisconsin.

Hensen, P. R., and Tayman, L. A. 1961. Crop Sci. 1, 306.

Hoagland, D. R., and Broyer, T. C. 1936. Plant Physiol. 11,471-507.

Jackobs, J. A., and Miller, D. A. 1970. Agron. Abstr. ASA p. 80.

Jensen, E. H., Frelich, J. R., and Gifford, R. 0. 1972. Agron. J. 6 4 , 6 3 5 6 3 9 .

Kidd, F., and West, C. 1919. Ann. Appl. Biol. 5:112-142.

Lin, C-S. 1963. Master’s Problem, Montana State Univ., Bozeman.

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McElgunn, J. D. 1973. Can. J. Plant Sci. 53, 797-800.

McKee, G. W. 1962. Pa., Agric. Exp. Srn., BUD. 689.

McKell, C. M., Wilson, A. W.,and Williams, W. A. 1962. Agron. J. 54,109-1 13.

McWilliam, J. R., Clements, R. J., and Dowling, P. M. 1970. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 21, 19-32.

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Stapledon, R. G., and Wheeler, D. E. 1948. J. Br. Grassl. SOC. 3, 263-271.

Stickler, F. C., and Wassom, C. E. 1963. Agron. J. 55, 78.

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This Page Intentionally Left Blank



YIELDS AND CULTURAL ENERGY REQUIREMENTS

FOR CORN AND SOYBEANS

WITH VARIOUS TILLAGE-PLANTING SYSTEMS



. .



. .



. .



C B Richey. D R Griffith. and S D Parsons

Purdue Agricultural Experiment Station. Lafayette. Indiana



I. introduction



..................................................



I1. Tillage-Planting Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



.....................



A . Definition of Tillage-Planting System ............................

B. High-Energy Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

C. Moderate-Energy Systems ......................................

D Low-Energy Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

111. Influence of Tillage-Planting System on Yields ........................

A Corn ......................................................

B. Soybeans ..................................................

IV. Yield Factors Influenced by Tillage-Planting System ....................

A . Early Planting ...............................................

B . Soil Compaction .............................................

C. Weed Control ...............................................

D . Fertilizer Placement ..........................................

E . Moisture Conservation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F . Soil Erosion Prevention .......................................

G . Insect and Disease Control .....................................

V. Energy Requirements for Various Tillage-Planting Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A . Operations in Low-, Medium-, and High-Draft Soils ..................

B . Various Tillage-Planting Systems in Low-, Medium., and High-Draft Soils .

C. Corn Tillage Savings ..........................................

D . SoybeanTillage Savings .......................................

VI . Projecting Energy Savings with Reduced Tillage .......................

VII . Conclusions ...................................................

References ....................................................



.

.



I



.



141

143

143

143

145

146

147

147

154

157

157

159

162

163

165

166

169

169

169

171

171

178

178

180

180



Introduction



Tradition has it that the Pilgrims were introduced to corn by the Indians.The

Indians used a low-energy tillage-planting system wherein they dug a hole.

dropped in a fish for fertilizer. and then planted a hill of corn .

As plows and mechanical planters became available. farmers were able to

substitute animal power for manual labor and thus multiply their output per

14 1



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