Influence of early cutting dates on forage yield and quality of alpine pastures

Dür, Braida; Reidy, Beat (2016). Influence of early cutting dates on forage yield and quality of alpine pastures In: The multiple roles of grassland in the European bioeconomy : proceedings of the 26th general meeting of the European Grassland Federation (EGF). Grassland science in Europe: Vol. 21 (pp. 275-277). Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers

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Alpine pastures are characterised by a diverse botanical composition managed at graduated intensity. Rapid grass growth at the beginning of the vegetation period generally results in fast decline in forage quality. The reduced net energy lactation (NEL) content of the forage complicates its utilisation for higher yielding dairy cattle. The aim of our study was to investigate the influence of early utilisation dates on forage yield and the quality of alpine pastures managed at different intensities. Pastures established for a 60-year-long fertiliser experiment located at 1,400 m a.s.l. were used. The first cut of selected plots (zero fertiliser, NPK and PK) was cut standard (usual beginning of summer pasture), early (21 days before usual beginning of summer pasture) and very early (35 days before usual beginning of summer pasture). The highest dry matter yields (DMY) were found for the standard cutting treatment. At the early and very early cutting dates (21 resp. 35 days before usual beginning of summer pasture) the DMY was significantly influenced by the fertiliser treatment. A significant interaction between fertiliser and cutting treatment was found. DMY was highest for NPK swards and lowest for 0 swards. NEL content was highest at the first cut for the early and very early cutting regimes. The results demonstrate the potential to improve forage quality by earlier utilisation, but also indicate consequences for yield from pastures managed at higher intensity.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Resource-efficient agricultural production systems
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Agriculture

Name:

Dür, Braida and
Reidy, Beat0000-0002-8619-0209

Subjects:

S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture

ISBN:

978-82-17-01677-9

Series:

Grassland science in Europe

Publisher:

Wageningen Academic Publishers

Language:

English

Submitter:

Beat Reidy

Date Deposited:

10 Mar 2020 14:26

Last Modified:

05 May 2021 12:32

Uncontrolled Keywords:

alpine pasture, fertilisation, cutting date, productivity, nutritional value

ARBOR DOI:

10.24451/arbor.7423

URI:

https://arbor.bfh.ch/id/eprint/7423

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