Track 1-1-2: Biodiversity, Growth and Management of Temperate and Mediterranean Grasslands

Description

Use of herb based sward mixes that are productive in different weather conditions could be an effective option to provide feed requirements for finishing lambs year round compared to ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)/white clover (Trifolium repens L.) sward in New Zealand (Kemp et al., 2010). Herbs such as plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) and chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and the legumes such as white clover and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) as pure swards are known to improve lamb performance compared to ryegrass/white clover. Therefore, there is scope to have herb-clover mixes to enhance post-weaning lamb performance. However, one significant limitation in the use of these herbages is the seasonality of their production. A further issue could be their persistence and poor winter growth (Moloney and Milne, 1993). Botanical composition of a sward mix changes depending on the grazing management system. Herbs such as plantain and chicory are susceptible to winter grazing and treading damage affecting their proportion in a sward mix. A sward’s botanical composition (legumes or grasses, leaf or stem materials, dead matter or weeds) and morphological composition (growth in different seasons), would likely affect the nutrient composition and lamb production (Lambert and Litherland, 2000). Therefore, it is essential to observe potential changes within and across seasons of the botanical composition in herb clover sward mixes.

COinS
 

Seasonal Influence on Botanical Composition of Plantain, Chicory, White- and Red-Clover Based Herbage Mixes

Use of herb based sward mixes that are productive in different weather conditions could be an effective option to provide feed requirements for finishing lambs year round compared to ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)/white clover (Trifolium repens L.) sward in New Zealand (Kemp et al., 2010). Herbs such as plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) and chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and the legumes such as white clover and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) as pure swards are known to improve lamb performance compared to ryegrass/white clover. Therefore, there is scope to have herb-clover mixes to enhance post-weaning lamb performance. However, one significant limitation in the use of these herbages is the seasonality of their production. A further issue could be their persistence and poor winter growth (Moloney and Milne, 1993). Botanical composition of a sward mix changes depending on the grazing management system. Herbs such as plantain and chicory are susceptible to winter grazing and treading damage affecting their proportion in a sward mix. A sward’s botanical composition (legumes or grasses, leaf or stem materials, dead matter or weeds) and morphological composition (growth in different seasons), would likely affect the nutrient composition and lamb production (Lambert and Litherland, 2000). Therefore, it is essential to observe potential changes within and across seasons of the botanical composition in herb clover sward mixes.