Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Macoon, Bisoondat

Committee Member

Lang, David J

Committee Member

Reddy, K. Raja

Committee Member

Rude, Brian J

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


Cover crops (CC) can contribute to production in pastures, but the diversity of CC mixtures and defoliation frequency (DF) may alter productivity. A 2-yr experiment conducted at Raymond, MS, quantified CC × DF effects on forage mass (FM) and nutritive value of winter CC and subsequent summer hay production. Treatments were factorial combinations of 10 CC (using several species of grasses, legumes, and brassicas) and three DF (harvested every 4 or 8-wk or cut and left as mulch) in a split-plot arrangement of a randomized complete block design experiment with three replications. Generally, mixtures with legumes had greater FM and better nutritive value. Summer hay production did not respond to difference in CC composition, however, harvesting of CC reduced summer hay but increased year-long FM. These results suggest that CC when harvested can contribute to forage production with improved nutritive value and can increase year-long FM, but summer hay production can benefit when the CC is left as mulch.