Growth and biomass yield response of clover (Trifolium decorum) to preceding crop and organic treatment in the highlands of Awi Administrative Zone, Ethiopia
Low soil fertility status is a dominant challenge in Ethiopian agriculture for decades. Organic amendment from different sources could help to rebuild the soil fertility status of the country. Hence, an experiment was conducted to evaluate the outcome of organic treatment and preceding crops on growth and biomass yield of clover. Four levels of organic treatments (V1= 0 t ha-1 FYM; V2 = 5 t ha-1 FYM; V3 = 2.5 t ha-1 FSB and V4 = 5 t ha-1 FYM +2.5 t ha-1 FSB) and two levels of crop rotation patterns (R1 = wheat - clover and R2 = potato-clover) were factorially arranged and laid out in a completely randomized block design (RCBD) with four replications. Plant height, number of tillers plant-1, number of nodules plant-1, root biomass plant-1 and above ground biomass of clover was recorded and analyzed using SAS system. The overall experimental results showed that only the main effect of organic amendment had a significant effect on the growth and biomass yield of clover. The highest total dry biomass (5.6 t ha-1) of clover was recorded at 5 t ha-1 FYM +2.5 t ha-1 FSB. The unfertilized control gave the lowest mean dry biomass (3.06 t ha-1) of clover compared to all other treatments. Thus, 5 t ha-1 FYM +2.5 t ha-1 FSB could be recommended for better biomass yield of clover. The finding could bridge the chronic green manure and livestock feed shortage of the district.
Keywords: Clover, biomass yield, preceding crops, farmyard manure