Skip to main content

Intercropping in maize silage versus solo-seeding for alfalfa establishment in Wisconsin and Idaho

Bjorneberg, D.L. and Rogers, C.W. (2024) Intercropping in maize silage versus solo-seeding for alfalfa establishment in Wisconsin and Idaho. Crop Science. 64:1061-1071. 10 February 2024. Available:

[img] Text
Grabber, Bjorneberg, Rogers-Maize Silage.pdf

Download (1MB)


Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) intercropping with maize (Zea mays L.) silage is being
developed in the northern United States to improve the profitability and environmental
sustainability of forage production. This study, conducted under rainfed conditions
inWisconsin and semiarid irrigated conditions in Idaho, compared the establishment
of alfalfa and dry matter yield of four intercropping systems to three conventional
systems. The former systems included alfalfa interseeded at planting or the vegetative
emergence (VE) stage of maize and grown with or without prohexadione
growth retardant. The latter systems included alfalfa seeded in spring, summerseeded
after barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), or late summer-seeded after maize silage.
Spring seeded and interseeded alfalfa inWisconsin also received foliar fungicide and
insecticide during establishment. During alfalfa establishment, yield of intercropped
maize silage was 1.8- to 4.4-fold greater than spring-seeded alfalfa. Compared to
spring-seeded alfalfa, interseeded alfalfa had similar or somewhat lower stand density
but similar first cut yield the following year, provided that intercropped maize
was harvested near September 1 to allow ample alfalfa fall regrowth. Shifting interseeding
from maize planting to the VE stage decreased early-season alfalfa growth,
but improved maize silage yield, with minor effects on alfalfa fall growth, stand
density, and first cut yield. Prohexadione application had little impact on establishment
or yield of interseeded alfalfa. While having high plant density, alfalfa seeded
after barley or especially maize had less fall growth and low first cut yield. Overall,
alfalfa establishment and yield of intercropping systems compared favorably with
conventional systems.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Irrigated crops > Alfalfa
Irrigated crops > Corn / maize
Depositing User: Users 11 not found.
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2024 13:54
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2024 13:54
Item ID: 1819