Track 1-10

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Past research has shown digestibility decreases along leaf lifespan (LLS) in several grasses (i.e. Groot and Neute-boom 1997; Insúa et al. 2013; Agnusdei et al. 2012). This phenomenon has not yet been quantified in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). Therefore, additional knowledge on the dynamics of leaf quality decline along LLS is necessary to verify the proper defoliation window necessary to optimize forage quality and production (Fulkerson and Donaghy 2001; Lemaire et al. 2009) in tall fescue. Further, this window might differ between old and new types (i.e. softer vs rough-leaved). The objectives of the study were: (1) to compare leaf quality dynamics of two tall fescue cultivars differing in leaf softness as related to leaf turnover; and (2) to determine the defoliation regime that enables to obtain similar forage quality between cultivars.

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Forage Quality and Defoliation Interval in Tall Fescue Cultivars

Past research has shown digestibility decreases along leaf lifespan (LLS) in several grasses (i.e. Groot and Neute-boom 1997; Insúa et al. 2013; Agnusdei et al. 2012). This phenomenon has not yet been quantified in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). Therefore, additional knowledge on the dynamics of leaf quality decline along LLS is necessary to verify the proper defoliation window necessary to optimize forage quality and production (Fulkerson and Donaghy 2001; Lemaire et al. 2009) in tall fescue. Further, this window might differ between old and new types (i.e. softer vs rough-leaved). The objectives of the study were: (1) to compare leaf quality dynamics of two tall fescue cultivars differing in leaf softness as related to leaf turnover; and (2) to determine the defoliation regime that enables to obtain similar forage quality between cultivars.