Skip to main content Accessibility help

Herbicides for Sod-Seeding Establishment of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) in Quackgrass (Agropyron repens)-Infested Alfalfa Swards

  • Gilles D. Leroux (a1) and Robert G. Harvey (a1)


The herbicides 2,4-D [(2,4-dichlorophenoxy) acetic acid], dalapon (2,2-dichloropropionic acid), glyphosate [(N-phosphonomethyl)glycine], paraquat (1,1’-dimethyl-4,4’-bypiridinium ion), and pronamide [3,5-dichloro-(N-1,1-dimethyl-2-propynyl)benzamide] were applied at selected rates and dates to quackgrass [Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv. ♯ AGRRE]-infested alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) sod in 1979 and 1980 to suppress vegetation for subsequent establishment of alfalfa without tillage. The influence of herbicides on weed control, alfalfa seedling density and visual stand, and forage yield and quality was assessed for 3 yr. During establishment, all herbicides except 2,4-D effectively controlled quackgrass. Glyphosate applied broadcast increasingly suppressed the existing sod as the rate was increased from 0.6 to 1.6 kg ai/ha. The effectiveness of herbicides as measured by total (old and new) plant density was closely related to the suppression of the sward. While the substitution of new alfalfa plants for old ones was not necessary under dense (40 plants/m2) alfalfa stands, completely controlling the vegetation with glyphosate resulted in sustained productivity throughout the experimental period. After 3 yr, alfalfa percentage and yield were highest when glyphosate was broadcast at 1.6 kg/ha. Improvement in forage quality, as estimated by the concentrations of crude protein and neutral-detergent fiber, was closely related to grass control.



Hide All
1. Association of Analytical Chemists. 1970. Official Methods of Analysis (11th ed.). Association of Analytical Chemists. Washington, DC.
2. Ashton, F. M. and Crafts, A. S. 1981. Mode of Action of Herbicides, 2nd ed. Wiley Interscience Publ., John Wiley and Sons, New York, London, Sydney, Toronto.
3. Baird, D. D., Upchurch, R. P., Homesly, W. B., and Franz, J. E. 1971. Introduction of a new broadspectrum herbicide class with utility for herbaceous perennial weed control. Proc. North Cent. Weed Control Conf. 26:6468.
4. Byers, R. A. 1979. Arthropod and mollusc pests of no-tillage forages. Pages 1315 in Symposium on Minimum and No-Tillage Systems for Agronomic Crops in the Northeast. Northeast Branch Meeting, Am. Soc. Agron. Rutgers Univ., NJ.
5. Decker, A. M., Retzer, H. J., and Swain, F. G. 1964. Improved soil openers for the establishment of small seeded legumes in sod. Agron. J. 56:211214.
6. Decker, A. M., Retzer, H. J., Sarna, M. L., and Kerr, H. D. 1969. Permanent pastures improved with sod-seeding and fertilization. Agron. J. 61:243247.
7. Doll, J. D. 1980. Perennial weed survey. Proc. North Cent. Weed Control Conf. 35:106109.
8. Dutt, T. E., Harvey, R. G., Fawcett, R. S., Jorgensen, N. A., Larsen, H. J., and Schlough, D. A. 1979. Forage quality and animal performance as influenced by quackgrass (Agropyron repens L.) control in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) with pronamide. Weed Sci. 27:127132.
9. Dutt, T. E. and Harvey, R. G. 1980. Pronamide phytotoxicity in ten Wisconsin soils. Weed Sci. 28:429432.
10. Fawcett, R. S., Harvey, R. G., Schlough, D. A., and Block, I. R. 1978. Quackgrass (Agropyron repens L.) control in established alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) with pronamide. Weed Sci. 26:193198.
11. Goering, H. K. and Van Soest, P. J. 1970. Forage fiber analysis. U.S. Dep. Agric., Agric. Handb. No. 379.
12. Graber, L. F. 1927. Improvement of permanent pastures with sweet clover. Agron. J. 19:9941006.
13. Larson, K. L. and Eastin, J. D. 1971. Drought injury and resistance in crops. Crop Sci. Soc. Am., Spec. Publ. 2. Madison, WI.
14. Linscott, D. L. and Vaughan, R. H. 1982. Influence of herbicides on direct-seeding establishment of birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) into grass sods. Weed Sci. 30:567571.
15. Mueller-Warrant, G. W. and Koch, D. E. 1980. Weed control for no-till renovation of runout alfalfa. Proc. Northeast Weed Control Conf. 33:3132.
16. Mueller-Warrant, G. W., Koch, D. W., and Mitchell, J. R. 1979. Chemical control of orchardgrass preceeding a no-till alfalfa seeding. Proc. Northeast Weed Control Conf. 33:3132.
17. Oswald, A. K. 1972. The effects of April and July applications of glyphosate, paraquat and dalapon on old permanent pasture. Proc. Br. Weed Control Conf. 11:9941001.
18. Rioux, R. and Bandeen, J. D. 1977. Influence de certains facteurs agronomiques sur la répression du chiendent avec le glyphosate. Can. J. Plant Sci. 57:269275.
19. Sprague, M. A. 1952. The substitution of chemicals for tillage in pasture renovation. Agron. J. 44:405409.
20. Sprague, M. A., Ilnicki, R. D., Chase, R. W., and Kates, A. H. 1962. Growth of forage seedlings in competition with partially killed sods. Crop Sci. 2:5254.
21. Taylor, T. H., Smith, E. M., and Templeton, W. C. Jr. 1969. Use of minimum tillage and herbicide for establishing legumes in Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) swards. Agron. J. 61: 761766.
22. Triplett, G. B. Jr. and Van Doren, D. M. Jr. 1977. Agriculture without tillage. Sci. Am. 236(1):2833.
23. Van Deuren, R. W. and Triplett, G. B. Jr. 1972. No-tillage pasture renovation. Pages 6980 in Proceedings No-tillage Systems Symposium. Ohio Agric. Exp. Stn., Columbus, OH.
24. Van Soest, P. J. 1978. Composition and nutritive value of forages. Pages 5363 in Health, M. E., Metcalf, D. S., and Barnes, R. F., eds. Forages, the Science of Grassland Agriculture, 3rd ed. The Iowa State Univ. Press, Ames, IA.


Herbicides for Sod-Seeding Establishment of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) in Quackgrass (Agropyron repens)-Infested Alfalfa Swards

  • Gilles D. Leroux (a1) and Robert G. Harvey (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed