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Vitamin contents in forage herbs

Elgersma, A.; Søegaard, K. and Jensen, S.K. (2012) Vitamin contents in forage herbs. Aspects of Applied Biology, 115, pp. 75-80.

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Grasslands provide an important part of the feed used by domestic and wild ruminants. Fresh forages are an important natural source of vitamins in ruminant diets. Most studies in forages have been carried out with perennial ryegrass and legume species such as white clover. As yield and quality data of broad-leaf grassland species are scarce, the aim of this study was to obtain novel information on vitamins in a number of herb species compared to a grass-clover mixture and to get insight into species differences and seasonal patterns across the various harvests and years. Seven herb species and a perennial ryegrass-white clover mixture were investigated in a cutting trial with four harvests (May–Oct) during 2009 and 2010. Vitamin concentrations were highest in October. The α-tocopherol concentrations were lowest in lucerne and yellow sweet clover, and highest in salad burnet and plantain. The β-carotene concentrations were lowest in lucerne, salad burnet and yellow sweet clover and highest in caraway, birdsfoot trefoil and plantain. As various herbs outperformed the grass-clover mixture regarding vitamin concentrations, these might provide added benefits in farming practice beyond higher biodiversity per se.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Pasture and forage crops
Research affiliation: Denmark > Organic RDD 1 > EcoServe
Deposited By: Kirkegaard, Lene/LKI
ID Code:24762
Deposited On:04 Dec 2013 14:33
Last Modified:04 Dec 2013 14:33
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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