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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Determinants of Pasture Value of Phalaris arundinacea L. vs. Bromus inermis Leyss.1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 60 No. 6, p. 703-705
    Received: May 1, 1968

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  1. G. C. Marten and
  2. J. D. Donker2



The objectives of this study were to determine the influence of the apparent lack of palatability of reed canarygrass on performance of grazing dairy animals and to compare quality and yielding ability of smooth bromegrass vs. reed canarygrass through measurement of gains per animal and gains per hectare when the two grasses were grazed alone under two grazing pressures.

In a preliminary pasture palatability trial, dairy heifers showed a distinct preference for brome over reed canary. A 4−year pasture production study revealed, however, that average daily gains of heifers restricted to rotational grazing within only brome or reed canary did not differ (0.74 kg for each). Also reed canary produced 20% more heifer gain per hectare than brome due to greater carrying capacity.

The heavier grazing pressure caused a slight but significant reduction in average daily gains per heifer, but it resulted in increases in heifer gain per hectare over the lighter grazing pressure (19% for reed canary and 16% for brome).

The preference of heifers for brome over reed canary was of little or no practical significance when the two grasses were grazed individually without choice. Reed canary was obviously higher yielding and more persistent than brome, and these traits merit recommendation of reed canary for pasture situations in which a pure stand of grass on upland mineral soil is desired.

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