Auteur: Hyrkäs M., Sairanen A., Kykkänen S., Virkajärvi P. and Isolahti M.
Jaar van uitgifte: 2015
Scandinavian milk and beef production is based on high-quality grass silage. Harvesting time of grass, especially in the first cut, is the major factor that determines the optimization of dry matter yield and forage digestibility, and the subsequent improved feeding efficiency and productivity of the animals. The aim of this study was to explore how the number of harvests, three different cultivar mixtures and timing of the last harvest affect the amount and nutritive value of total yield and overwintering of the sward. The experiment was conducted at Maaninka and Sotkamo, Finland, during the 2013-2014 growing seasons. Experimental design of the study was split-split-plot with four replicates. Plots were sown with a mixture of timothy (Phleum pratense L.) and meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.). Three different mixtures of varieties of these species were used. The three-cut harvesting strategy produced higher dry matter and energy yield and higher digestibility than the two-cut harvesting strategy. Delaying the second cut increased the total dry matter yield and decreased D-value more than delaying the third cut. Differences between cultivar mixtures were observed but the interaction with number of harvests was minor.