Forage yield and nutritive value of cool-season and warm-season forages for grazing organic dairy cattle

Kathryn E. Ritz, Bradley J Heins, Roger D Moon, Craig Sheaffer, Sharon L. Weyers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this study was to compare the forage nutritive value of cool-season perennial grasses and legumes with that of warm-season annual grasses grazed by organic dairy cows. Two pasture systems were analyzed across the grazing season at an organic dairy in Morris, Minnesota. Pasture system 1 included perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), meadow bromegrass (Bromus riparius Rehmann), meadow fescue (Schedonorus pratensis (Huds.) P. Beauv), alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), white clover (Trifolium repens L.), red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), and chicory (Cichorium intybus L.). Pasture system 2 was a combination of system 1 and monocultures of warm-season grasses (sorghum-sudangrass (Sorghum bicolor [L.] Moench subsp. drummondii [Steud.]) and teff (Eragrostis tef L.)). Across the grazing season, forage yield was 39% greater for system 2 than system 1 due to greater forage yield during the summer. Neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) were similar for cool-season and warm-season grasses. Warm-season grasses had greater forage yield during the summer months compared with cool-season grasses and legumes. The total tract NDF digestibility (TTNDFD) varied by month and year across the study for both pasture systems. Overall, weather may affect the forage nutritive value for both cool-season perennial grasses and legumes and warm-season annual grasses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1963
JournalAgronomy
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work is supported by the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (grant no. 2012-51300-20015/project accession no. 0230589) from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.

Keywords

  • Cattle
  • Forages
  • Grazing
  • Sorghum-sudangrass
  • Teff

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Forage yield and nutritive value of cool-season and warm-season forages for grazing organic dairy cattle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this