MODELING POLLINATION FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE ALFALFA SEED YIELD IN NORTH-CENTRAL NEVADA

2008, 9 (1)   p. 107-116

Don BREAZEALE, George FERNANDEZ, Rangesan NARAYANAN

Abstract

The relative importance of both environmental and management factors on alfalfa seed yield was investigated on North–Central Nevada farms. Multiple linear regression models using 2002-2003 data revealed that cumulative tripped fl owers increased seed yield in both years. Field location does not appear to make a difference in the observed variation in tripped fl ower production. The results suggest that seed yield can be increased by (a) by placing bee shelters closer and (b) cultural practices that increase total fl ower production. Both these factors increased tripped fl owers and thus had a positive effect on yield. In addition, warmer temperatures during the growing season, particularly in the early stages of plant growth is shown to not only increase tripped fl owers but also reduce the time when the maximum tripped fl owers occur. The latter appears to have a signifi cant infl uence on cumulative tripped fl owers and thus the total seed yield.

Keywords

alfalfa seed, pollination, leafcutting bees

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