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Keywords:

  • soil depth;
  • slope;
  • erosion;
  • dry-matter yield;
  • legumes;
  • herbage minerals;
  • crude protein

Abstract

Sloping fields on soils of shallow depth to tillage are commonly left uncultivated in many parts of the world. This study was conducted to compare the effects on morphological traits, dry-matter (DM) yield, legume ratio (LR), crude protein content (CP), crude protein yield (CP yield) and mineral concentrations (N, P, K, S, Ca, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Na, B and Zn) of Hungarian vetch (Vicia pannonica Crantz.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) grown in intercropping mixtures in response to three rates of organic solid cattle manure application (M0: 0, M1: 10, M2: 20 t ha−1). Experimentation was conducted on soils of two different soil depths [shallow (8–12 cm; low-medium erosion risk) and normal soil depth (18–22 cm; no erosion risk)] on a sloping field in the 2006–2007 and 2007–2008 growing seasons at Gumushane, Turkey. Herbage harvested on the shallow depth area had 22–73% less DM yield, 14–72% less CP yield, 6–9% greater CP content and generally higher minerals contents than herbage from the normal soil depth area. Cattle manure applications increased DM yield by about 23%, increased CP content and CP yield, and also increased the contents of most minerals in herbage of the intercropping mixtures, relative to the control, averaged over the two soil depths. It is suggested that, for areas with shallow soil depths that are prone to erosion, plant cover should be used for forage production, and that fertilization with solid cattle manure at 20 t ha−1 can support production of quality forage of acceptable DM yield.