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Sward characteristics important for intake in six Lolium perenne varieties

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Abstract:

Abstract

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.

Keywords: cultivars; cutting; herbage intake; perennial ryegrass; sward characteristics; sward morphology

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2494.2005.00459.x

Affiliations: 1: Crop and Weed Ecology Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands 2: Animal Nutrition Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Publication date: 2005-06-01

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