Effect of mower/conditioner type during legume or grass harvesting on silage quality

Type Conference Proceeding (Non-Journal item)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe multiple roles of grassland in the European bioeconomy
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 26th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation
EditorsM. Höglind, A. K. Bakken, K. A. Hovstad, E. Kallioniemi, H. Riley, H. Steinshamnm, L. Østrem
Place of PublicationNorway
PublisherNorwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
ISBN (Print)9788217016779
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventProceedings of the 26th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation - Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 04 Sept 201608 Sept 2016


ConferenceProceedings of the 26th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation
Period04 Sept 201608 Sept 2016
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Machinery for harvesting forage is typically designed for use with grass crops and often incorporates conditioners to promote moisture loss during wilting. Forage legumes have fragile leaves that can shatter during conditioning treatment and since leaves contain higher concentrations of protein than stem, reducing leaf shatter should increase the forage protein yield at harvest. This study examined the effects of different mower treatments on silage prepared from ryegrass (Lolium perenne), red clover (Trifolium pratense), white clover (Trifolium repens) or lucerne (Medicago sativa). Three mower treatments were compared: no conditioner (NoC), with a steel tine conditioner (STC) or a with rubber roller conditioner (RRC). The RRC improved wilting rate producing higher dry matter silages than when no conditioner was used, but lower DM silages than when the STC was used. Silage produced using a STC had a lower nitrogen content than silage produced using NoC or a RRC suggesting that a RRC was preferable to the STC when harvesting legumes so as to limit loss of nitrogen rich leaf material


  • legumes, nitrogen, wilting, conditioning, silage