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Red clover for silage: management impacts on herbage yield, nuitritive value, ensilability and persistence, and relativity to perennial ryegrass

Clavin, D.; Crosson, P.; Grant, J. and O'Kiely, P. (2016) Red clover for silage: management impacts on herbage yield, nuitritive value, ensilability and persistence, and relativity to perennial ryegrass. Grass and Forage Science, 72, pp. 414-431.

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Summary

This six year experiment quantified the impacts of management factors on red clover yield, persistence, nutritive value and ensilability, and compared these to perennial ryegrass receiving inorganic N fertiliser. Within a randomised complete block design, field plots were used to evaluate a 2 (cultivar; Merviot and Ruttinova) x 2 (alone or with perennial ryegrass) x 2 (0 and 50 kg fertiliser N/ha in mid March) x 2 (harvest schedule) combination of factors relating to red clover, and a 2 (harvest schedule) x 4 (0, 50, 100 and 150 kg N/ha for each cut) combination of factors relating to perennial ryegrass. The Early and Late harvest schedules both involved four cuts per year but commenced a fortnight apart. Red clover treatments averaged 14,906 kg dry matter/ha per year. There was no yield decline evident across years despite a decline in the proportion of red clover. The Early harvest schedule and sowing ryegrass with red clover increased herbage yield and digestibility. March application of fertiliser N to red clover treatments reduced annual yield. Early harvest schedule increased and both fertiliser N and sowing with ryegrass decreased the proportion of red clover. Sowing with ryegrass improved indices of ensilability but reduced crude protein. Both red clover cultivars had similar performance characteristics. A selected red clover-based treatment, considered to exhibit superior overall production characteristics, out-yielded perennial ryegrass plus fertiliser N in mid-season. However, it had poorer digestibility and ensilability indices.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:harvest schedule, N fertilizer, seed mixture, cultivar
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Farming Systems
Crop husbandry
Research affiliation: Ireland
Ireland > Teagasc - Agriculture and Food Development Authority
DOI:10.1111/gfs.12249
Deposited By: Clavin, Mr Dan
ID Code:32380
Deposited On:04 Dec 2017 15:20
Last Modified:04 Dec 2017 15:20
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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