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Responses of corn (Zea mays L.) in intercropping with three Berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrium L.) cultivars as cover crops to different levels of nitrogen
Berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) is one of the most important forage crop in Iran. In order to determine yield, yield components and qualitative characteristics of two cultivars of berseem clover in low input nitrogen farming in 2015 and 2016, two factors randomized complete block design with split plot combined analysis over years with four replications was used in Isfahan, Iran. Cultivars were Sacronomt and Multicut, and the nitrogen levels included 10, 40 and 70 kg ha-1. The higher values of plant height, total fresh yield, total dry yield, nitrate, protein, organic matter and ash was related to 2015 compare to 2016, however, the higher phosphorous, potassium, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu was obtained in 2016. On the one hand, Sacromont cultivar had obtained the higher values of total fresh yield, total dry yield and Fe. On the other hand, the higher values of plant height, nitrate, protein, phosphorous, potassium, organic matter, ash, Mn, Zn and Cu was related to Multicut. Increasing the nitrogen fertilizer application rate from 10 to 70 kg N ha-1 resulted in numerically increased plant height, total fresh and dry yield. The maximum nitrate, protein, potassium, organic matter, ash and Zn was obtained in application of 70 kg N ha-1. Nitrate concentration in the crop increased with the addition of nitrogen fertilizer. While the highest values of phosphorous, Mn and Cu was achieved in application of 40 kg N ha-1. Nitrogen fertilizer management is one of the most important input in achieving high productivity World Scientific News 131 (2019) 197-206-198-and yield of berseem clover. The appropriate management of nitrogen is important in cropping systems and a balance between applied levels is essential for normal plant growth and human consumption. All in all, both forage crop production and quality is vital for successful animal production in sustainable agriculture systems. On the basis of the results of this study, it could be concluded that application of 70 kg N ha-1 is good for both cultivars.