Can Festulolium, Dactylis glomerata and Arrhenatherum elatius be used for extension of the autumn grazing season in Central Europe?

https://doi.org/10.17221/91/2010-PSECitation:Skládanka J., Adam V., Ryant P., Doležal P., Havlíček Z. (2010): Can Festulolium, Dactylis glomerata and Arrhenatherum elatius be used for extension of the autumn grazing season in Central Europe? Plant Soil Environ., 56: 488-498.
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The paper compares the quality of Festulolium, Dactylis glomerata and Arrhenatherum elatius at the end of the growing season over three years with the contrasting weather in the Czech Republic. The effect of pre-utilisation dates in June or July on the quality of grass forage in October, November and December (harvest dates) was investigated. In the first two years, Arrhenatherum elatius exhibited higher yields (P < 0.05) than Festulolium and Dactylis glomerata. In all treatments, differences between the species and between the years were inconsistent for organic matter digestibility (OMD) and neutral detergent fibre (NDF) but Festulolium showed the lowest crude protein (CP) in all years and crude fibre (CF) in the first 2 years. The longer re-growth time due to earlier final cut in summer increased the yield and decreased the nutritive value in winter. Yields of DM, OMD and CP content generally declined and the CF content increased with the delay of winter harvest. Significant species harvest date interactions in some years were due to the steep increase of CF and NDF in Festulolium. Based on DM yields and nutritive value, all species have some merits as forage for use in possibly extended grazing season. Festulolium and Dactylis glomerata could be used to extend the grazing period in continental conditions. Arrhenatherum elatius had sufficient quality at both dry and warm end of the growing season due to the fact that Arrhenatherum elatius was a representative of drought-resistant species; however, intense grazing could suppress it.
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