Tropical Grasslands (1985) Volume 19, 24–28

EFFECT OF CUTTING HEIGHT ON LUCERNE (MEDICAGO SATIVA) CULTIVARS

K.F. LOWE1, T.M. BOWDLER1 and G.N. SCHRODTER2

1Queensland Department of Primary Industries, P.O. Box 96, Ipswich 4305.
2Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Gatton Research Station, P.O. Box 241, Gatton 4343.

Abstract

Six lucerne cultivars were mown for two years at four different heights(< 2 cm, 2.5 cm, 5.0 cm and 7.5 cm) above ground level. The cultivars varied in winter activity from semi-dormant (Hunter River) to highly winter active (Matador). All were mown when basal shoots were approximately 2.5 cm long. Dry matter yield and plant persistence were the same at the two lowest cutting heights. Higher cutting decreased yield by up to 4.7 t ha-1 over two years but had no effect on persistence. There were no significant cultivar/cutting height interactions.

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