African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6691

Full Length Research Paper

Forage yield components of various alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) cultivars grown on salt-affected soil under rainfed and irrigated conditions in a Mediterranean environment

Abed Chedjerat
  • Abed Chedjerat
  • National Higher School of Agronomy, ENSA of El Harrach, Algiers, Algeria.
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Mahfoud M’hammedi Bouzina
  • Mahfoud M’hammedi Bouzina
  • Department of Agronomy, SNV Faculty, University of Hassiba Benbouali, Chlef, Algeria.
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Abdelhamid Gacemi
  • Abdelhamid Gacemi
  • National Agronomic Research Institute of Algeria, Station of Hmadna, Algeria.
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Aissa Abdelguerfi
  • Aissa Abdelguerfi
  • National Higher School of Agronomy, ENSA of El Harrach, Algiers, Algeria.
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  •  Received: 30 March 2016
  •  Accepted: 26 July 2016
  •  Published: 25 August 2016


In Algeria, the area allocated to crop fodders in particular, the alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is very limited as compared to other crops. Some obstacles hinder the development of crops especially in irrigated perimeters. A field experiment was conducted to highlight the adaptation of sixteen (16) alfalfa varieties from different origins (Algeria, Australia, France, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia and USA) to drought, soil salinity and to evaluate the dry matter yields in the experimental station INRAA of Hmadena in the Lower-Cheliff plain in two cropping seasons, 2005/2006 and 2006/2007. The tests were conducted in a saline soil under two water regimes, rainfalls and irrigation with the maximum evapotranspiration. The evaluation focuses on dry matter yield, plant height and stand density. The results obtained in two campaigns show the encouraging production of dry matter of some varieties such as “Ameristrand 801S” and the weak production of the local variety “Tamantit”, a reduction in the number of plants per square meter from one year to another, and an average height of the plants which differs from a variety to another. The number of harvests per season was normally between 4 and 6. It is concluded that some varieties are suitable for dry matter production in salt affected soil under both water regimes in the area of Hmadna in the Lower-Cheliff plain (Algeria).

Key words: Algeria, alfalfa, cultivar, dry matter yield, plant height, stand density.