Adaptation, Yield Performance, and Forage Quality of New Grass and Legumes Species In the Central Region of Saudi Arabia.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
Nasser. S. AL-Ghumaiz and M.I. Motawei, Plant Production and Protection Dept., Qassim Univ., College of Agric. and Vet. Medicine, Buridah, Saudi Arabia
Forage production in Saudi Arabia relies mainly on growing alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), which is considered the main source of hay production. However, due to the extend of livestock production across the country, the need for other sources of forage is increasing. Introducing new species may be important to be considered in Saudi market. The objective of this study was to evaluate the adaptation, dry matter yield and forage quality of some new imported cool-season grasses and legumes under the Saudi Arabian environment. Perennial grass and legume species trials were conducted during 2008-2009 seasons at College of Agriculture- QassimUniversity in the QassimProvince in central of Saudi Arabia. Three grass species were included: tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), and orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.). Four legumes species were seeded: red clover (Trifolium pretense L.), white clover (Trifolium repens L.), kura clover (Trifoliumambiguum Bieb. ), and birdsfoot trefoil (BFT)(Lotus corniculatus L.). A locally grown alfalfa cultivar has been seeded as control for the legume trial. Cultivars within species were also included. First year results showed that red clover, white clover and BFT species may be well adapted to this climate. Significant differences in total yield and forage quality among species were recorded. Moreover, variations among cultivars were also observed. Kura clover was slow to establish and yield was low for all cuts. Grass species were only productive for a short time since there was only one grass cultivar (Fawn tall fescue) survived high summer temperatures over all other grasses. Grass trial was reseeded and data for both legume and grass trials will be reported at the end of the second year. This study demonstrated the importance of proper species and cultivar selection based upon location.
Key words : Forage quality, dry matter yield, grass and legume species, Saudi Arabia environment.