Document Type : Research Paper



In order to evaluate the quantitative and qualitative forage characteristics of different sainfoin ecotypes, a field experiment was conducted in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications at the Research Station of Agricultural College of Shahrekord University. In this experiment, the amount of wet and dry weight of above-ground plants, plant height, and the protein and fiber contents were measured at three stages of pre-flowering, initiation of flowering and full flowering. The number of sainfoin forage cuts and variation of protein and fiber content at different forage cuts were analyzed by a split-plot on time. The results in this experiment showed that, the amount of wet, dry weight, plant height, and the protein and fiber contents were significantly affected at different ecotypes of sainfoin in all harvest stages and number of forage cutting was not significantly affected in all sainfoin ecotypes. Based on the data analysis according to split plot design in time, the factors of ecotypes and number of cutting were affected significantly. The 2nd and 4th cutting were produced maximum protein content and the 5th cutting produced maximum fiber content. The interaction between ecotype and number of cutting was not significant. Regarding to quantitative (yield) and qualitative (protein content) characteristics of forage, cultivation of Aligodarz ecotype of sainfoin showed superiority over other ecotypes.