Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor, Department of Environment Science and Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Arak University, Arak, Iran


Compensating water shortage requires the use of proper agricultural management methods. Thus, the present experiment aims at investigating different irrigation levels based on water requirement of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) on qualitative and quantitative yield of forage produced by combined cropping patterns of sorghum and snail medic (Medicago scutellata L.). The experiment is conducted in split plots design based on randomized complete blocks with three replications in two years (2017-2018 and 2018-2019). The treatments include irrigation levels of 50%, 75%, 100%, and 125% (as the main plot) and cropping patterns sole-cropping sorghum, sole-cropping snail medic, cropping pattern of 100% sorghum with additive series of 50%, 75%, and 100% snail medic (as the subplot). Results show that the highest fresh and dry forage yield are obtained in 125% water requirement as well as 100% sorghum and 100% snail medic (with 53578.45 and 13302.68 kg ha-1). In addition to the effective application of land (land equivalent ratio = 1.29), fresh and dry forage yield have increased by 834 and 63.36 kg ha-1, respectively. The analysis of forage quality show that with a decrease in the portion of the snail medic, the percentage of protein has decreased by 11.05%. Also, the highest percentage of crude ash and digestible matter have been obtained in the treatment of sorghum sole cropping (11.79% and 81.04%, respectively) and the highest percentage of acid detergent fiber in the treatment of snail medic sole cropping (30.94%). According to the results, it is possible that the use of crop with low water requirements like snail medic in mix cropping system (100:100) increases the quality and quantity of forage, boosting water productivity as well.


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