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Suitability of vetch (Vicia sativa L. and V. villosa Roth) cultivars for organic farming conditions

Natalia Georgieva

Cultivars suitable for organic agriculture are distinguished in many terms from ones cultivated in conventional agriculture. The suitability of vetch (Vicia satival. and v. villosa Roth)cultivars (Obrazets 666, Liya, Lorina, Vilena, Moldovskaya, Violeta, Viola) to organic farming conditions was determined on the basis of a complex of traits during a three-year experimental period (2012-2014). The block design method was used, at sowing rate of 220 seeds m-2. The seeds were sown in the third decade of March after predecessor oat. The results revealed that cultivar Liya was appropriate for organic production of forage. The cultivar was characterized by high average daily growth rate, greater height, increased branching and amount of formed biomass (aboveground and root mass, by 55.0 and 36.9% over the averages of studied cultivars) - parameters which ensured a higher competitiveness against weeds, as well as uptake and use of nutrients. In addition, Liya was ecologically stable (bi=0.77) and despite the manifested susceptibility to rust (IT = 4, DS = 30.5%), it had high productiveness (4588.2 kg DM ha-1 or by 58% over the average productivity). Suitability for growing in organic farming on certain of the traits (biomass per plant, forage yield, rust resistance) showed and cultivar Moldovskaya, but it had low ecological stability. Violeta and Viola were low-productive cultivars, but with high quality of the biomass and increasing to the greatest extent the content of soil mineral nitrogen because of that they can be used to improve the soil fertility in organic production. Cultivar Obrazets 666 was suitable as a donor for immunity to rust (IT = 0). Cultivars characterized by increased lignin content of the cell walls demonstrated immunity or resistance to Uromyces viciae-fabae

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