Scorpiurus muricatus L. is an annual legume, widely distributed in Mediterranean pastures, that is appreciated by farmers for its productivity, forage quality, and palatability. It is characterised by long flowering and ripening periods and by pod shedding. These characteristics cause high seed losses, which could reduce its seed harvest efficiency in terms of seed yield and quality. In this study, we investigated the effects on seed yield and quality of different harvesting methods (windrowing at different times with subsequent combining was compared with direct combining). Our results show that direct combining when the pods were fully ripened reduced pod losses compared with swathing methods, producing the highest yield of seed actually harvested. However, in this study, the unique climatic conditions during the pod development stage (extremely high temperatures) accelerated the ripening process, presumably limiting pod shedding.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|