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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Arvid Boe


Research in the north central and eastern United States has spawned a controversy regarding the role of autotoxicity in establishment and productivity of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) interseeded into deteriorating stands or planted on land with a recent alfalfa cropping history. Klein and Miller, and Miller recommended corn (Zea mays L.) as the best preceding crop for alfalfa establishment, and alfalfa as the worst. Five-year total forage yield from land reseeded to alfalfa was 68% lower than that obtained from land not previously cropped to alfalfa. However, Tesar provided data showing no significant difference between first and second-year yields of alfalfa following plowed-under alfalfa compared to alfalfa seeded on a fallow seedbed. Little information exists on variability among alfalfa cultivars for establishment and forage production when interseeded or planted into land previously cropped to alfalfa and other forage legumes. Einhellig reported that the basic genotypic capacity for synthesis of allelochemicals varies extensively, even among cultivars of a crop. Objectives of this research were to: (1) assess emergence and stand establishment of alfalfa cultivars when interseeded into fields of alfalfa, and (2) evaluate forage production of alfalfa cultivars planted into land previously cropped to alfalfa, red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), and birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.).

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Alfalfa -- Seedlings

Alfalfa -- Residues

Legumes -- Residues

Allelopathic agents



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University