Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 26, 2007
Publication Date: March 26, 2007
Citation: Brink, G.E. 2007. Yield, Quality, and Sward Differences in Grasses. Proceedings of Northern Illinois Profitable Pastures Symposium. p.27-32 Technical Abstract: Producers frequently pose the question as to which temperate grass has the greatest yield and quality potential, and whether grazing animals will consume it. Results of a study conducted in southcentral and northcentral Wisconsin indicate that greater yield can be expected in northern locations due to less moisture and temperature stress during the summer. Except for smooth bromegrass, leaf yield of most temperate grass species at a grazing stage was similar in the spring. As grasses matured in the spring, yield differences were due primarily to production of the stem fraction. Soft-leaf tall fescue and orchardgrass produced the most yield during the summer and fall, but forage quality (cell wall concentration and cell wall digestibility) of meadow fescue was greater than all grasses except perennial ryegrass. Animals generally preferred ryegrass and timothy throughout the grazing season. The next phase of this investigation will involve a grazing study to estimate actual intake and utilization of some of these grasses.