Comparative studies of annual legumes
Biotechnology in Animal Husbandry
The aim of present study was to get comparative data on forage productivity and quality of forage of Checz cultivars of legumes in the conditions of Northern Bulgaria and respectively to select species and genotypes with the potential for successful introduction in the structure of forage production in Bulgaria. Five species of forage crops were observed and the respective cultivars: Egyptian clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.), cv. Faraon; crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.), cv. Kardinal;
... L.), cv. Kardinal; annual bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus ornithopoides L.) cv. Junak; black medick (Medicago lupulina L.) cv. Ekola and white melilot (Melilotus albus L.), cv. Adela. The studied legumes differed significantly in their fodder productivity. They are ranked in the following order of DM yield: white melilot -black medick -annual bird's-foot-trefoil -Egyptian clover -crimson clover. The productivity and participation of Egyptian clover and crimson clover in grasslands varied significantly in years. The biomass of crimson clover had the highest content of crude protein (15.24%) and the lowest of crude fiber (21.69%) and no digestible components. According to the comprehensive evaluation of data on productivity and forage quality of studied annual legumes, black medick could be defined as the species with the highest potential for cultivation in the conditions of the Central Northern Bulgaria. It is characterised by high productivity of green mass and dry matter, it has regrowing ability, it is distinguished by a high content of crude protein (14.92%) and crude fat (4.66%), optimal content of neutral and acid detergent fibers (34.67 and 24.99%) and with high levels of hemicellulose content (9.68%). Energy value of forage of that species, assessed by means of feed unit of milk (FUM) and growth (FUG) was assessed as very high (FUM -0.69/kg DM and FUG -0.63/kg DM).