Annual dry matter, metabolisable energy and nitrogen yields of six dryland pastures six and seven years after establishment
Dry matter (DM) yields, botanical composition, liveweight production and pasture quality of six grazed dryland pastures established in 2002 at Lincoln University, Canterbury, are reported for Years 6 (2007/08) and 7 (2008/09). Lucerne (Medicago sativa) yielded 14.0 t DM/ha/yr and sheep liveweight (LW) production totalled 903 (2007/08) and 1 141 kg/ha/yr (2008/09). Metabolisable energy (ME) on offer (~134 GJ/ha/yr) and N yield (>500 kg/ha/yr) from the lucerne exceeded those of grass-based pastures. Yields (9.8- 11.2 t DM/ha/yr) and liveweight production (814-912 kg/ha/yr) from cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) pastures established with subterranean (Trifolium subterraneum) clover were greater than all other grass-based pastures. Annual ME was 79-96 GJ/ha and N yield was 269- 316 kg/ha from the cocksfoot, subterranean clover and volunteer white clover (T. repens) components. For Year 7, the contribution of unsown weeds and grasses in cocksfoot-based pastures was ~28% of total annual yield compared with 55% in ryegrass (Lolium perenne)/ white clover pastures. Consequently, the ME and N yields from sown pasture components in ryegrass/white clover pastures were lower than those from cocksfootbased pastures. These results indicate dryland farms with lucerne and/or cocksfoot/sub clover pastures can produce higher DM yields from more persistent pasture species. Persistence led to more ME and N on offer to grazing livestock, which resulted in higher liveweight production than from the ryegrass pastures.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsgrowth rates; pasture quality; Trifolium ambiguum; Trifolium michelianum; balansa clover; Caucasian clover
TypeConference Contribution - Published (Conference Paper)
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