Implications of grass–clover interactions in dairy pastures for forage value indexing systems. 2. Waikato

<p>The implementation and monitoring of the treatments in the core experiment (eight perennial ryegrass cultivars grown under four combinations of plus/minus clover and high/low nitrogen (N)) at a dryland Waikato site is described. The N x clover interaction was significant in 10 of the 17 seasonal or total annual herbage accumulation (HA) data sets available, caused by substantially lower annual HA in the low N minus clover treatment compared with all other treatments. Five significant scaling-type clover × cultivar interactions in HA were evident. In all cases, HA was greater in plus clover than minus clover treatments, but more so for some cultivars than others. However, the interactions were not consistent across seasons, and different cultivars or phenotypic contrast groups were involved in many cases. The hypothesis that relative HA rankings of ryegrass cultivars do not differ when ryegrass is grown in monoculture versus mixtures with white clover is supported.</p>