Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 28, 2004
Publication Date: October 31, 2004
Citation: Brink, G.E., Casler, M.D. 2004. Sward structure and quality of temperate grasses [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Paper No. 6496. Technical Abstract: A diverse group of temperate grasses are intensively grazed by dairy and beef producers. Our objective was to determine dry matter and quality profiles within swards of bluegrass, ryegrass, orchardgrass, quackgrass, reed canarygrass, smooth bromegrass, timothy, meadow fescue, tall fescue, and soft-leaf tall fescue. When each grass reached 25 to 30 cm height during the spring, summer, and fall, forage contained within three sward layers (greater than 20 cm, 15 to 20 cm, and 10 to 15 cm) was harvested. In the spring, DM density decreased from upper to lower layers in quackgrass, smooth bromegrass, and timothy, while DM density increased from upper to lower layers in meadow fescue, reed canarygrass, ryegrass, and both tall fescues. Within bluegrass and orchardgrass, DM density was similar across layers. Crude protein (CP) decreased and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) increased from upper to lower layers in all grasses. Meadow fescue, orchardgrass, and reed canarygrass had greater CP than other grasses at greater than 20 cm, but meadow fescue, ryegrass, and timothy had lower NDF.