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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 105 No. 6, p. 1683-1694
     
    Received: Apr 17, 2013
    Published: September 13, 2013


    * Corresponding author(s): gilles.belanger@agr.gc.ca
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doi:10.2134/agronj2013.0195

Timothy Yield and Nutritive Value under Climate Change in Canada

  1. Qi Jinga,
  2. Gilles Bélanger *a,
  3. Budong Qianb and
  4. Vern Baronc
  1. a Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2560 Hochelaga Boulevard, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 2J3
    b Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 960 Carling Ave., Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0C6
    c Lacombe Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe, AB, Canada T4L 1W1

Abstract

Timothy (Phleum pratense L.) is a dominant forage grass in Canada but its performance under projected future climate conditions has not been evaluated. This study combined the grass model CATIMO (Canadian Timothy Model) with baseline (1961–1990) and projected future (2040–2069) climate scenarios to assess the response of timothy to climate change at 10 sites across Canada. Projected future conditions are expected to have the following effects on timothy: (i) earlier growth onset (10-site average: –21 d; range: –4 to –40 d), date of first harvest (–15 d; –11 to –25 d), and date of second harvest (–20 d; –17 to –29 d), along with a later end to the growing season (+12 d; 0 to +18 d); (ii) increased dry matter (DM) yield at first harvest (+355 kg ha–1; –917 to +826 kg ha–1) but decreased DM yield at second harvest (–427 kg ha–1; +47 to –936 kg ha–1); (iii) increased neutral detergent fiber (NDF) concentration at first harvest (+22 g kg–1 DM; –22 to +94 g kg–1 DM) but a small decrease (–3 g kg–1 DM; +7 to –30 g kg–1 DM) at second harvest; and (iv) decreased NDF digestibility at first harvest (–6 g kg–1 NDF; +7 to –30 g kg–1 NDF) and second harvest (–23 g kg–1 NDF; –11 to –35 g kg–1 NDF). The longer growing season (+581°C-d to +1219°C-d) is expected to result in an additional harvest by 2040 to 2069.

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