A study of the effect of the frequency of spring cutting on the regrowth and resulting yield of lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Agricultural Science at Massey University
There is abundant evidence to show that the yield, stand, chemical composition and the feeding value of lucerne may be materially affected by varying the cutting interval. Therefore, the purpose of the field experiment reported here was to determine the effect of the frequency of spring cutting on the regrowth and resulting yied of a pure stand of New Zealand certified lucerne (Chanticleer) and on weed invasion of the stand and, if possible, the reasons for this effect. It is hoped that this information will add to the existing evidence.
Lucerne is cultivated for stock feed in many parts of the world, including New Zealand. In recent years, it has become increasingly important as a forage crop because of its potential for high yields of good quality feed under a wide range of climatic and soil conditions. The long tap root of the plant affords it considerable resistance to drought. Moreover, the plant is rich in phosphates, lime and protein, all of which are essential in animal production. In common with other legumes, it possesses the power to increase the nitrogen content of the soil. [FROM INTRODUCTION]