The Effect of Saline and Non-Saline Soil Conditions on Yield and Nutritional Characteristics of Some Perennial Legumes Forages
Salinity is one of the important environmental stress factors restricting agricultural productivity and sustainability, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. In the evaluation of saline soils, growing of salt tolerant or resistant plants is recently a widespread implementation. The aim of this study was to compare some yield and nutritional properties of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), sainfoin (Onobrychis sativa Lam.) and bird’s foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.) species cultivated in extreme saline-soil (9.80 EC dS m-1) and non-saline soil (0.43 EC dS m-1) conditions. For this purpose, this research was conducted in randomized blocks design with three replications on the Iğdır Plain, located in eastern Turkey, between the years of 2011-2013. Plants were sown under irrigable conditions in 2011, and data were obtained from the examined plants during three years including the year of sowing. In the study, leaf area index (LAI), crude protein (CP), fresh hay and hay yields differed significantly (P<0.01) in terms of species x soil type x year interaction. In respect to plant height, all the paired interactions, but only soil type x year interaction in terms of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) were found statistically significant. According to these results, maximum fresh hay yields and LAI were obtained from alfalfa grown on non-saline soils in the maintenance years (2012-2013), and maximum hay yields were determined again in alfalfa grown on non-saline soils for each of the three years and also on saline soil in 2012. However, minimum fresh hay and hay yields were measured under saline soil conditions in the establishing year for each of the three species. Maximum and minimum CP contents were found in alfalfa and sainfoin grown on saline soil conditions in the establishing year (2011), respectively. Along with changing as per species, plant heights increased in the years following the establishing year, but decreased on saline soil compared to non-saline soil. In respect of NDF content, the highest values were determined under non saline-soils in 2012, and the lowest ones were obtained from saline soil conditions in 2011 and 2013. As conclusion, it was determined that all species can easily grow without too much yield and quality loss in salt-affected areas and can provide enough forage production for livestock feding.
Feed value; Forage yield; Halomorphic soils; Salinity; Leaf area index