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Development of lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) treated with mineral fertilizer and manure at optimal and water deficit conditions.

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Institute of Forage Crops, 89 General Vladimir Vazov, 5800 Pleven, Bulgaria.


A study on the effect of different rates of mineral fertilizer and manure on yield parameters of lucerne under optimal and water deficit conditions was carried out. Leached chernozem soil and lucerne cultivar Victoria were used. The soil was treated with ammonium nitrate and fully matured cattle manure. The plants were grown under optimum moisture content of 80% and 40% of field capacity. The water deficit stress decreased top and root biomass by 11-75% and 3-29% at mineral and organic fertilization, respectively. The applied mineral and organic N strongly depressed nodules development. Both mineral fertilizer and organic manure at dose of 210 mg N kg(-1) soil completely inhibited the appearance of nodules. Next to nitrogen, water deficit stress further inhibited the development of nodules. Nitrogen fertilization increased seed productivity in the two experimental moisture conditions. The water deficit stress decreased seed productivity by 18 to 33% as compared to optimum conditions. The plant treatments with manure were much more resistant to water deficit and recovering ability of plants was faster as compared to treatments with mineral fertilizer. The application of manure stimulates development of drought-stress tolerance in lucerne. However, the results obtained can be considered for the soil type and experimental conditions used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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