Auteur: Cougnon M., Vandermoere S., De Vliegher A. and Reheul D.
Jaar van uitgifte: 2015
Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L.) and winter rye (Secale cereale L.) sown as cover crops after forage maize, may produce an early cut before a new (maize) crop is installed. We report on the performance of a diploid and a tetraploid variety of both crops sown in early, mid and late October 2012. Aboveground and belowground biomasses were determined at regular intervals from December till April 2013. Aboveground biomass (cut to ground level) was significantly affected by time of sowing: at any moment, the yield of the cover crops sown early October was at least four times higher than that of the cover crops at the end of October. Similar results were found for belowground biomass. Total biomass of rye was always significantly higher than that of ryegrass, regardless of the time of sowing. By the end of April 2013, the DM yields (above 5 cm) of early sown winter rye and Italian ryegrass were 2,504 and 1,393 kg DM ha‑1 respectively. The ploidy of the crops did not affect biomass. This study suggests that winter rye as a cover crop is clearly more productive than Italian ryegrass, sown in October after forage maize harvest.