Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 1:15 PM

Performance of Legend Lespedeza in Mid-Missouri.

Fanson Kidwaro and Albert Lamai. Central Missouri State University, 130B Grinstead Hall, Warrensburg, MO 64093


Lespedeza (Kummerowia striate) is a unique annual legume grown for pasture, hay and soil improvement due to its qualities as drought resistant, acid tolerant, non-bloating when fed to livestock, tolerant of low fertility and adaptation as a warm-season plant. Several cultivars of lespedeza have been introduced to mid - Missouri over time and Legend is the latest cultivar to be evaluated. The objectives of the study were to compare the performance of Legend lespedeza with other common cultivars in Mid Missouri and to evaluate phenotypic characteristics of existing Legend selections for potential development of a new cultivar- Legend II. A three year study was conducted near Warrensburg on a Macksburg silt loam soil. Soil phosphorous was amended to levels recommended for optimum lespedeza production in Mid Missouri.  ‘Marion' ‘Korean' ‘Kobe' and ‘Summit' were compared with Legend. Cultivars were randomly assigned to five plots and replicated four times in a randomized complete block design.  All plots were seeded at recommended rate of 22 kg ha-1. Yields ranged from 275 kg ha-1 to 1036 kg ha-1 during the three-year study. Legend yielded over 30% more than Marion, the newest cultivar during the three-year study. Overall, Legend yields were significantly higher at 0.05 level compared to yields of other cultivars. Legend plants exhibited two phenotypic characteristics indicating potential existence of legend II.