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Crop Science Abstract - FORAGE & GRAZING LANDS

Stockpiled Annual Ryegrass for Winter Forage in the Lower Midwestern USA


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 43 No. 4, p. 1414-1419
    Received: May 30, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): kallenbachr@missouri.edu
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  1. R. L. Kallenbach *a,
  2. G. J. Bishop-Hurleya,
  3. M. D. Massiec,
  4. M. S. Kerleyb and
  5. C. A. Robertsa
  1. a Dep. of Agronomy, Plant Sci. Unit, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211
    c Southwest Missouri Agric. Res. and Education Center, Mt. Vernon, MO 65712
    b Animal Sci. Unit, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211


Livestock operations, particularly pasture-based dairies in the lower Midwest, are interested in stockpiling annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) as a source of high-quality winter forage. Almost no information exists about stockpiling annual ryegrass in this region. Our objective was to determine the yield and forage quality of stockpiled annual ryegrass compared with cereal rye during winter in the lower Midwest. ‘Barmultra’ and ‘Marshall’ annual ryegrass were evaluated at two locations (Columbia and Mt. Vernon, MO) during the winters of 1998-1999 (Year 1) and 1999-2000 (Year 2). ‘Forage Master’ cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) was included as a comparison. Uncut strips (subplots) were harvested monthly from mid-December through mid-March each year. Stockpiled annual ryegrass yields ranged from 825 to 2356 kg ha−1, with Marshall yielding more than Barmultra on all but one harvest date during the 2 yr. Forage quality of stockpiled annual ryegrass typically declined from mid-December through mid-February, with a larger decline in a normal winter (Year 1) than in a mild winter (Year 2). Although forage quality tended to decline during winter, acid detergent fiber (ADF) never exceeded 252 g kg−1, and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) never exceeded 455 g kg−1 This suggests that stockpiled annual ryegrass could be used in the lower Midwest as a source of high-quality winter forage for grazing livestock.

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Copyright © 2003. Crop Science Society of AmericaPublished in Crop Sci.43:1414–1419.