Effects of harvesting red clover/ryegrass at different stage of maturity on forage yield and 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
Pages323-325
ISBN (Print)9788217016779
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventProceedings of the 26th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation - Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 04 Sep 201608 Sep 2016

Conference

ConferenceProceedings of the 26th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation
CountryNorway
CityTrondheim
Period04 Sep 201608 Sep 2016
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Abstract

Total nitrogen concentrations and digestibility of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne; PRG) and red clover (Trifolium pratense; RC) decline with increasing maturity. However, whilst harvest date is negatively correlated with silage digestibility, it is positively correlated with herbage yield. Currently, there is a lack of information on the ideal cutting stage for mixtures of red clover grown in combination with ryegrass. An experiment was conducted to examine the effects of increasing harvest date on growth stage, dry matter yield, species ratio, forage composition and digestibility of red clover (cv. AberClaret) and perennial ryegrass (cv. AberMagic) grown as a mixed sward. First cut silage was harvested at weekly intervals on 5 occasions from early May to early June, and second cut silage was harvested at weekly intervals on 5 occasions from mid-June to mid-July. Forage nitrogen, neutral detergent fibre and digestible organic matter in the dry matter concentrations were affected by harvest date in both cuts and were significantly correlated with the growth stages of both PRG and RC. Overall, the growth stage of RC was a better indicator of sward forage quality than growth stage of PRG especially in the second silage cut

Keywords

  • Lolium perenne, Trifolium pratense, growth stage, nitrogen, digestibility