Track 1-07

Description

Farms in Latvia have an insufficient amount of protein in a feed for herbivorous animals. To tackle this issue, plants containing high protein content should be cultivated in grass mixtures. Legumes are rich in protein and play an important role on farms with dairy livestock. It is advisable to have at least 30-50% of legumes in mixtures with grass for grazing animals and to conserve fodder for the winter period, which lasts from November to May. As well as being rich in protein, legumes have a high dry matter digestibility (TDN) and high energy content (NEL). While legumes during the optimal mowing period (early flowering) have a high-buffer capacity (BC) of 600 - 700 mEq/kg and a low fermentation coefficient (FC) of 13 - 18, they contain less carbohydrates than grasses and consequently, have poor fermentability (Osmane et al. 2008, Jemeljanovs 2006, Mustafa et al. 2003, Wilkins et al. 2000). Therefore, they need to be included with grasses to make silage or hay. Latvian farmers use legumes in grass mixtures about from 20 species of different clover (Trifolium), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), eastern galega (Galega orientalis) and the annual legumes, peas (Pisum sativum), vetch (Vicia sativa) and cowpeas (Phaseolus vulgaris), each with a varied biochemical and microbial composition and requiring different requirements for cultivation and fodder conservation.

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Legumes--A High Quality Protein Source in Latvian Animal Feeds

Farms in Latvia have an insufficient amount of protein in a feed for herbivorous animals. To tackle this issue, plants containing high protein content should be cultivated in grass mixtures. Legumes are rich in protein and play an important role on farms with dairy livestock. It is advisable to have at least 30-50% of legumes in mixtures with grass for grazing animals and to conserve fodder for the winter period, which lasts from November to May. As well as being rich in protein, legumes have a high dry matter digestibility (TDN) and high energy content (NEL). While legumes during the optimal mowing period (early flowering) have a high-buffer capacity (BC) of 600 - 700 mEq/kg and a low fermentation coefficient (FC) of 13 - 18, they contain less carbohydrates than grasses and consequently, have poor fermentability (Osmane et al. 2008, Jemeljanovs 2006, Mustafa et al. 2003, Wilkins et al. 2000). Therefore, they need to be included with grasses to make silage or hay. Latvian farmers use legumes in grass mixtures about from 20 species of different clover (Trifolium), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), eastern galega (Galega orientalis) and the annual legumes, peas (Pisum sativum), vetch (Vicia sativa) and cowpeas (Phaseolus vulgaris), each with a varied biochemical and microbial composition and requiring different requirements for cultivation and fodder conservation.