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Konferensartikel - Refereegranskat, 2022

Supplemental irrigation – a measure to sustain yield in mixed grass-legume ley systems during drought periods

Wesström, Ingrid; Nilsdotter-Linde, Nilla; Joel, Abraham


Climate change is altering the conditions for agriculture, resulting in more frequent shortfalls in forage production. In two field experiments carried out in 2021 within established first-year grass-legume leys on the Swedish islands of Öland and Gotland, this study compared four different irrigation treatments in randomised blocks: an unirrigated control, entire-season irrigation (SI), irrigation up to first cut (D1) and irrigation up to second cut (D2). Field measurements showed clear increases in dry matter (DM) yield with irrigation during periods of rainfall deficit. Stored soil water was sufficient to give similar yield levels in all treatments at cut 1. A clear water deficit was seen in the unirrigated control and also the short irrigation treatment D1, with insufficient water to support a second cut. Similar responses to irrigation were observed at the third cut. By cuts 2 and 3, all irrigated treatments had significantly higher yield than the unirrigated control (P<0.001). Entire-season irrigation (SI) gave on average 30 and 66% higher DM yield than in the unirrigated control at the Öland and Gotland sites, respectively. No or very weak effects of irrigation on botanical composition were observed.


deficit irrigation; first-year ley; dry matter yield; botanical composition

Publicerad i

Grassland Science in Europe
2022, Volym: 27, sidor: 500-502
Utgivare: European Grassland Federation


29th EGF general meeting: Grassland at the heart of circular and sustainable food systems, 26 to 30 June 2022, University of Caen, France