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Use of NIR to Estimate Clover Content in Clover / Grass Swards - VS02004

White clover (Trifolium repens) is a relatively small crop with 5-10 new candidate varieties entered into tests for National Listing (NL) every year. Candidate varieties are sown at two sites and VCU Yield assessments are made for five or sevens cuts in the second and third harvest years. The clover varieties under assessment are grown in mixed swards with perennial ryegrass (var. Fenema). In order to assess the dry matter yield of clover varieties in trial, the current system requires harvested sward samples to be separated into their component species. The separated material is then dried and weighed for yield calculations. The separation of the harvested sward is a manual operation and is performed on freshly harvested material. The separation is accurate but is also time consuming. The need for timely separation immediately after harvest and a commitment of a considerable amount of time to process samples make these assessments difficult to manage at times of year when other weather dependant operations may need priority.Wachendorf et al (1999) investigated application of NIRS (Near Infra-red Reflectance Spectroscopy) to quantify the proportion of clover within a mixed sward. Their study concluded that the principle is valid and provided a cost effective system of work.The purpose of this study is to confirm the technical findings of Wachendorf et al and assess its cost effectiveness in the context of the UK NL Trial system.This project will synergise with an existing project evaluating the use of NIRS for grass quality analysis.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Use of NIR to estimate clover content of grass swards   (3448k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2004

Cost: £6,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
National Institute of Agricultural Botany
Plant Varieties and Seeds              
Plants and Animals              
Variety Testing              
Fields of Study
Plant Varieties and Seeds