Effective inoculation of birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus Corniculatus L.

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Baghboodarian, Hrayr
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Thesis (M.A.)
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It is believed that birdsfoot trefoil is one of the best legumes for mid-summer permanent pasture in the northern half of Indiana."During the past twenty-five years birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.) has played an increasingly important role as a forage legume on livestock farms in the north-eastern and north-central United States. The longevity and adaptation of this crop has warranted its use as a forage legume on soils which for reasons of drainage or fertility are unsuited to alfalfa. Birdsfoot trefoil has done and should do much to improve the field and quality of forage in areas and on soils where other perennial legumes formerly could not be grown." (25, p.1).Experimental methods of inoculating birdsfoot trefoil have proven that when properly inoculated birdsfoot grows and produces well. The establishment and the primary growth of this plant, however, presents a problem.Birdsfoot trefoil is a legume that has great potential for nodule formation when the proper nodule forming bacteria are present. It is an established fact that birdsfoot will not nodulate with the strains of bacteria that initiate nodules on alfalfa, clover or soybeans. Birdsfoot requires its own special kind of bacteria classified as type "K" series of inoculum. (20, p.1). This then is the basic problem very few of the fields where birdsfoot has been planted for the first time have the type "K" inoculum inherent in the soil because primary establishment of the plant has been unsuccessful. Poor or improper inoculation is one of the most common causes of failure.