Establishment and productivity of alfalfa in a volcanic ash soil in the province of Linares, Chile

Patricio Soto O.1 y Hernán Acuña P.1

Alfalfa establishment was evaluated in two trials, ene seeded in the falI and the other in the spring of 1978. A complete block design with four replications was used. A 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of 2 varieties (WL-512 and Moapa) and with or without pellets was employed. Pellets were prepared with CaCO3 and dolomite. Seeding rate was 1 5 kg/ha, inoculated with a specific Rhizobium; 1 50 kg P2O5/ ha (65,46 kg P/ha) was applied in bands as triple superphosphate. Dry matter production was evaluated by cutting at 3 cm, at the beginning of flowering. When seeded in the fali, the effect of cultivar was significant during the 3rd and 4th year; also, total production (4 years) of WL-512 was 17% higher. Pellets did not affect yields (P > 0.05). With spring sowing, WL-512 was better than Moapa during the lst year and had higher total dry matter production (P < 0.05). Pellets did not affect production (P > 0.05). Alfalfa is considered a well adapted species for these conditio,ns, since it produced over 12 ton DM./ha/year, during the four years experimental period.

1 Estación Experimental Quilamapu (INIA), CasilIa 426, ChiIIán,Chile.