Oversowing a permanent sward with white clover (Trifolium repens) with different levels of resident vegetation competition

Oscar Balochi L.1 y Jaime Mansilla G.1

In a permanent pasture located in the central valley of the X Region (Valdivia, Chile) an experiment was conducted in order to determine the effect of different levels of resident sward competition and seed pelleting and inoculation on the establishment and spread of white clover in permanent pastures. A complete randomized block design was used, with six treatments and three replicates in a factorial arrangement of 3 x 2, corresponding to three levels of sward competitíon and two pelleting treatments. White clover establishment, forage species contribution, and white clover spread was evaluated. No significant effect of pelleting and inoculation of seed on establishment and spread of white clover was found. The reduction of resident sward competition through the application of paraquat and glyphosate improved the white clover establishment, being glyphosate better than paraquat. The number and weight of leaves, meristematic apexes, nudes, reoted nudes, lenght and weight of stolons/m2 were higher in the treatments were the competition from the resident sward was reduced by means of herbicides. No differences were observed between both products. The contribution of grasses and dead matter was higher in the treatments without herbicide application. The broad leaf species showed a higher contribution in the treatments with herbicide, and this caused a reduction in the pastoral value of the sward.

1 Instituto de Producción Animal, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Univ. Austral de Chile, Casilla 567. Valdivia.