Sward characteristics important for intake in six Lolium perenne varieties
An experiment was conducted to determine the genetic variation among diploid perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) varieties for sward structural characteristics considered to be important for intake by cattle. Assessments were made between June and September in 2000 and 2001. Six varieties (Abergold, Respect, Agri, Herbie, Barezane and Barnhem) were subjected to a cutting experiment where swards were cut after 3 to 4 weeks of regrowth during the growing season. The variables, measured in three 2-week periods, were herbage mass of dry matter (DM), sward surface height (SSH), bulk density, proportion of green leaf, tiller density, tiller weight, extended tiller height, length of sheath and length of leaf blade. Significant differences among varieties were found in both years for herbage mass of DM, SSH, bulk density, proportion of green leaf, tiller density, tiller weight and length of sheath. The results show that there is significant genetic variation among diploid perennial ryegrass varieties for sward characteristics important for intake during grazing.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2005-06-01