Nebraska Academy of Sciences


Date of this Version



1984. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, XII:61-64. Copyright © 1984 Waller, Gates, Hart, Schmidt and Samson


Improving quality and quantity of forage harvested from poor condition, subirrigated hay meadows in the Nebraska Sand Hills is critical to the winter forage reserve of livestock producers. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is the most commonly used legume for meadow improvement. Broadcast seeding (11.2 kg/ha) was compared to sod seeding (11.2 kg/ha) as a method to introduce alfalfa into an alkaline subirrigated meadow (Fluvaquentic Haplustolls). Before seeding, the study area received 78.5 kg/ha phosphorous. Paraquat (0.29 kg/ha) was applied to one-half of the area to suppress plant competition and provide qualitative information on treatment consistency across a range of sod competition. Lo-till sod seeding was accomplished with a power tillage seeder. Seedling density was determined in spring the following year. Broadcast alfalfa had a greater seedling density than sod-seeded alfalfa (38.4 and 19.1 plants/m2, respectively, p=.09). Apparently, paraquat had no effect on seedling establishment and tended to reduce total yield. Yields the year of seeding, using a two harvest scheme, were greater for broadcast compared to sod-seeded alfalfa (p=.02). However, there was no significant difference between yields of broadcast alfalfa and control.

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