Common vetch-wheat intercropping: Haylage yield and quality depending on sowing rates
The winter-sowing genotypes of common vetch (Vicia sativa L.) are very susceptible to lodging and therefore are sown in mixtures with small grains that serve as supporting crops. In order to determine an optimum ratio of vetch and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) components in their mixture, a four-year trial (autumn 2005 to spring 2009) was carried out, aiming at the yield and quality of winter vetch haylage. The sowing rate of winter vetch was 120 kg ha-1, while the sowing rate of winter wheat was 0, 15, 20, 25 and 30 kg ha-1. An increased proportion of the cereal in its mixture with vetch significantly decreased the stand lodging, have a positive influence on forage yield, but haylage quality is of a poorer quality. Quality characteristics such as crude protein and lignin content, total digestible nutrients, dry matter intake and relative feed value were highest in monoculture common vetch followed by mixture with the lowest rate of wheat. Neutral detergent fiber content was positively affected by intercropping. There were no significant differences among treatments for acid detergent fiber content, digestible dry matter and net energy for lactation. The most favorable balance between the haylage yield and quality, as well as the highest crude protein yield (1482 kg ha-1), was achieved with the mixture of 120 kg ha-1 of the vetch seed and 15 kg ha-1 of wheat.
Keywords: Common vetch, crude protein, forage quality, haylage, mixture,vnutritive value