Materials used in this chapter were published in the book Biostimulant Albit for
increasing yields and protection of agricultures against diseases, A.K. Zlotnikov,
Ed. Prof. ј. Melkumova. All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection, Russia, 2006.
Galega (Galega orientalis Lam) is very promising fodder crop. It is an
herbaceous plant in the Faboideae subfamily, Galega genus. There
are 8 species of Galega genus. It is native to the Middle East, but it has
been naturalised in Europe, western Asia, and western Pakistan. The plant has been
extensively cultivated as a forage crop, an ornamental, a bee plant and as green
manure. Its name derives from gale (milk) and ega (to bring on),
as Galega has been used as a galactologue in small domestic animals (hence
the name "Goat's rue").
Fig. 45. Galega field treated with Albit (Vladimir oblast, 2004)
According to data of Timiryazev Agricultural Academy, the most efficient way of
galega usage is 2-3 cuttings in budding stage or 2 cuttings in flowering stage;
1-2-year interchange of cutting and seed usage provides grass recovery and increases
galegaТs productive longevity. Galega provides the earliest (even earlier than
winter rye) forage while clover and alfalfa just started their intensive growth.
Prolonged vegetation, ability to be appropriate for cutting till very late autumn,
good aftermath and tillering energy make this culture irreplaceable for green biomass
harvesting. High productivity of galega is combined with high nutritional value: 100
kg of green biomass contains 20-21 feeding units, 100 kg of hay Ц 57-58 feeding units.
Overground biomass of the plant contains 16-25% of protein. Provision of 1 feeding
unit with raw protein is 175-216 g. High nutritional value of galega is provided due
to high ratio between weight of leaves and total biomass weight (50-70%).
Problem of forage with high protein content is still actual in livestock farming.
Traditional legume crops, such as alfalfa and clover tend to exhaust with the laps
of time, and after 3-4 years their productivity gets considerably lower. Search for
new inconvenient cultures must fill this gap. One of such cultures is galega, which
can be used 10-15 years without thinning, since root offshoots provide proper stem
density that forces out all other plant species, especially weeds.
In the last years, this crop has been extensively cultivated in countries of
European Union, Asia and North America. Harvesting of high yields of galega is
possible in broad geographical zone between 40 and 60 degrees of north latitude.
Trials performed by All-Russia Institute of Vegetable Selection and Seed Breeding
demonstrated that conditions in most of agricultural regions of Russia are favorable
for galega cultivation: Non-black soil zone, Volga and Vyatka and Ural regions,
West and East Siberia, Far East, Northern Caucasus.
Galega is able to grow in the same regions as clover and in many cases is able to
compete with alfalfa. Introduction of Galega creates long-functional pastures supplying
livestock farming with valuable forage.
Albit is the only pesticide officially registered for use on this
promising culture in Russia (List of Pesticides, Allowed to Application in Russia, 2006).
High effectiveness of Albit on galega vas demonstrated in trials carried out in Vladimir
and Moscow oblast by All-Russia Institute of Vegetable Selection and Seed Breeding and
Vladimir Regional Plant Protection Station. Trials were performed in 2001-2004 on galega
var. Gornoaltayskiy-87. Treatment of galega with Albit is widespread among farms
of Vladimir, Moscow, Tula and Lipetsk oblasts.
Application of Albit on galega increases:
- regrowth after cutting;
- productivity of aged galega fields.
Application recommendations. It is recommended to perform presowing
seed treatment (50-70 ml/tonne) and foliar sprayings (40 ml/hectare) in the following
years. Foliar sprayings (1-2 times per season) should be done in first half of vegetation,
in stage of budding, preferably just after cutting for improvement of regrowth.
According to results of performed trials, treatment with Albit increased yield of galega
green biomass averagely by 19.6 centners/hectare (21.7%). Also, it increased yield of
seeds averagely by 0.4 centners/hectare (16.2%). Besides yield increase, Albit increased
germination of galega seeds by 8-13%, height and density of stems, improved regrowth after
cutting by 14.1-34%. The maximal relative effectiveness of Albit treatment was detected on
aged (10-15 years old) fields (Data of Vladimir Regional Plant Protection Station, 2004).