Yield and nutritive value of sainfoin (Onobrychis vicifolia Scop.) populations in different cuttings

Document Type: Research paper


1 Natural Resources Research Department, Isfahan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center, Agricultural Research Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), P. O. Box: 81785-199, Isfahan, Iran.

2 Agricultural Research Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Tehran, Iran.



Sainfoin (Onobrychis vicifolia Scop.) is one of the most important forage legumes cultivated as high quality forage. Fifty three species have been identified in this genus in Iran. A field experiment was conducted using randomized complete block design to compare yield and forage quality of 20 populations of sainfoin in Isfahan Agricultural and Natural Resources Center, Iran during 2013 – 2014. Populations were evaluated at three cutting dates (29 April, 20 July and 26 October, 2014). Dry matter yield and forage quality indices such as crude protein (CP), water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), dry matter digestibility (DMD), and ash content were determined. Results showed that populations were different in the majority of traits. Means of interaction effects indicated that the maximum and minimum dry matter yield were 5612.7 kg ha-1 at the third cutting and 118.5 kg ha-1 at the first cutting in 8199 and 9263, respectively. According to the results of quality analysis in the majority of populations, maximum DMD, CP and WSC were obtained at the third cutting and maximum ADF and NDF were obtained at the first cutting. In terms of forage yield some populations, such as 8199, 3800, Oshnavieh, 9147, 8799 and Isfahan camposit were superior to other populations. High digestibility populations (2759, 19402, PLC, 12542, 3001 and Oshnavieh) and high protein populations (8199, 15353, 2759, 3062, 15364 and 19402) had the best forage quality among populations. Regarding quantitative and qualitative characteristics of forage, these populations could be considered as desired parents for developing synthetic varieties.