Elfatih Mohamed Abdel-Rahman and Awad Osman M. Abu Suwar, University of Khartoum, Sudan
Purpose: A field experiment was conducted at the Demonstration Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum at Shambat during the period November 2001 to June 2002 to investigate the effect of seeding rates on growth and forage fresh and dry matter yields of two alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) cultivars.
Design/methodology/approach: The treatments comprised four seeding rates viz; 10, 15, 20 and 25 kg ha-1 and two alfalfa cultivars (the local cultivar Hegazi and the introduced cultivar Siriver). The treatments were randomly assigned in a split plot design with four replicates. Parameters measured: plant density, plant height, leaf-to-stem ratio, leaf area index (LAI) and forage fresh and dry matter yields.
Findings: The results illustrated that a seeding rate of 25 kg ha-1 increased plant density, leaf area index and forage dry matter yield. A seeding rate of 15 kg ha-1 increased plant height and was superior over other seeding rates in forage fresh yield, whereas 20 kg ha-1 increased leaf-to-stem ratio. The local cultivar Hegazi tended to be superior over the introduced cultivar Siriver in plant height and forage fresh anddry matter yields. In contrast, the introduced cultivar was superior over the local one in plant density, number of leaves per plant, leaf area index and leaf-to-stem ratio.
Keywords: Seeding rates, Cultivars, Alfalfa, Growth, Yield