The effects of spring closing date on the yield and quality of perennial ryegrass and cocksfoot cut for conservation

G. SWIFT*, R. A. EDWARDS

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This second paper concerned with effects of prolonged spring defoliations on two early perennial ryegrass varieties (Cropper and RvP Hay Pasture), an intermediate perennial ryegrass (Talbot) and an early cocksfoot (Roskilde) examines the effects of different closing dates on ear emergence, weekly DOMD (in vitro) and conservation yields. The grasses were mown fortnightly to simulate sheep grazing from January until three closing dates, 19 April, 3 May or 17 May, in 1978 and 1979. A set of plots was left undefoliated. All plots were sampled weekly from 2 or 3 weeks after 17 May until the end of June or early July. Prolonged mowing resulted in a small delaying effect on 50% ear emergence of the ryegrasses. The maximum delay was 3 d with the latest closing date. Under this treatment, ear emergence of the cocksfoot was delayed by an average of 12 d but by only 0–4 d under the earlier closing dates. Delay in date of closing caused a significant delay in the time to reach a given DOMD but the effect was largely confined to the latest closing date and was greatest for the cocksfoot. The time when 670 g kg−1 DOMD was reached was delayed in the ryegrasses by no more than 5 d, except for a 12‐d delay in the intermediate ryegrass in 1978 following the late closing date. Under this treatment the delay for the cocksfoot was 8 d in both years. The early ryegrasses produced stemmy regrowths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-260
Number of pages10
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - Dec 1983

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