Variability in herbage mass and chemical composition within a timothy sward
Niemeläinen, Oiva; Miettinen, Eero; Virkajärvi, Perttu; Alakukku, Laura; Hakala, Kaija (2001)
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Fundacão de Estudos Agrários Luiz de Queiroz
Variability in herbage mass (HM) and chemical composition of timothy (Phleum pratense L.) sward was studied in a three-hectare field. The field, which was flat, was divided into twelve sections and a sampling site was randomly selected in each. The study was carried out in Sotkamo (64 o 01'N, 28 o 22'E) research station in Finland. Snow depth and frost conditions were measured in winter and soil water content was monitored in the growing season at each sampling site. Observations on the crop included assessment of herbage ground cover and winter damage percentage, stand height and HM and analysis of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and nitrogen concentration. Forage was harvested twice during the experiment and the first cut was made at ear emergence. Winter damage varied from 0 to 68% and herbage ground cover in spring from 30 to 100%. Variability in HM was higher at the first cut (from 1767 to 4390 kg DM ha -1 ) than at the second cut (from 3890 to 4348 kg DM ha -1 ). NDF content varied from 601 to 688 g kg -1 at the first cut and from 582 to 632 g kg -1 from at the second cut. The 95% confidence limits for NDF at the first cut were from 635 to 663 g kg -1 and at the second cut from 589 to 604 g kg -1 .
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