Auteur: Müller J. and Jänicke H.
Jaar van uitgifte: 2015
High merit cows (>10.000 l cow‑1 year‑1) are usually fed rations high in carbohydrates and low in fibre. In these diets the percentage of silage made from permanent grasslands is low, due to their limited energy contents. As a consequence, adding straw to high carbohydrate mixed rations is a common practice to ensure effective fibre for proper rumen function. However, low digestibility fibres negatively affect feed intake, especially when ruminal distention dominates control of feed intake around peak lactation. Therefore, an alternative diet, high in digestible fibre, seems an option to break the cycle of structural and energetic demands on the roughage. We examined a range of Italian ryegrass cultivars to obtain information about quality characteristics and variations which may be helpful for advisers asking for forages appropriate for high output systems. Samples from three cuts of a field trial with 22 Lolium multiflorum cultivars and candivars were analysed by near infrared reflectance spectroscopy for quality traits including acid detergent fibre (ADF), neutral detergent fibre (NDF), enzyme insolubility and water soluble carbohydrates. We considered NDF-ADF differences as most suited for assessing applicability in high carbohydrate rations. Based on these criteria we find significant varietal differences exist in Lolium multiflorum.