Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Kevin D. Kephart


Two common techniques used to establish alfalfa [Medicago sativa L.] include companion cropping and clear-seeding. An oat [Avena sativa L.] companion crop benefits alfalfa establishment by providing erosion control, weed suppression, and forage in the seeding year. Companion crops, however, compete with alfalfa seedlings for water, soil nutrients, and solar radiation. Although optimum alfalfa stands often result from clear seeding, potential for soil erosion is increased because of prolonged soil exposure. Also, weed control with pre-plant incorporated herbicides has been inconsistent. Sethoxydim (2-[1-(ethoxyimino) butyl]-5-(2-(ethylthio)propyl]-3-hydroxy-2-cyclohexen-1-one ) has recently been approved for control of grass weeds in alfalfa. Forage growers are now offered new options for successful establishment of alfalfa. A companion crop can be used for initial erosion and weed control followed by sethoxydim treatment before competition from 2 oats becomes excessive. The objectives of this study were: 1) determine growth, morphological adaptation, and yield of alfalfa established by three different techniques in the seeding year, and 2) measure alfalfa yield the year following seeding.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Alfalfa -- Yield
Companion planting -- South Dakota
Oats -- Control



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University