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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 45 No. 4, p. 1295-1304
     
    Received: Nov 24, 2003
    Published: July, 2005


    * Corresponding author(s): tgriggs@ext.usu.edu
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doi:10.2135/cropsci2003.0613

Nonstructural Carbohydrate and Digestibility Patterns in Orchardgrass Swards during Daily Defoliation Sequences Initiated in Evening and Morning

  1. Thomas C. Griggs *a,
  2. Jennifer W. MacAdama,
  3. Henry F. Maylandb and
  4. Joseph C. Burnsc
  1. a Dep. of Plants, Soils, and Biometeorology, Utah State Univ., 4820 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-4820
    b USDA-ARS Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Lab., Kimberly, ID 83341-5076
    c USDA-ARS Plant Science Research Unit, and Depts. of Crop Science and Animal Science, Room 1119, Box 7620, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC 27695-7620

Abstract

Herbage soluble carbohydrate (SC) levels vary diurnally and livestock intake can be higher for herbage harvested or allocated to animals in the evening than in the morning. Few assessments of SC and digestibility patterns have been made during sward depletion in rotationally stocked orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.). We tested the hypothesis that simulated evening daily pasture allocation increases 24-h mean herbage SC and digestibility levels relative to morning allocation. Total nonstructural carbohydrate (TNC) and in vitro true dry matter digestibility (IVTDMD) levels were compared during 24-h clipping sequences initiated at 1900 h (PM) and 0700 h (AM). Sward height was progressively reduced from 40 to 8 cm at 6-h intervals in October, June, and August. Successively lower horizons from defoliation sequences and also from control areas that were not under progressive defoliation were analyzed. Digestibility and TNC levels varied diurnally and seasonally, and were often higher for PM sequences, but differences among 24-h means were small. Daily mean TNC levels for defoliation sequences initiated in PM and AM were 138 vs. 132, 93 vs. 88, and 72 vs. 60 g kg−1 in October, June, and August, respectively. In all periods, digestibility decreased from approximately 920 to 800 to 890 g kg−1 during sward depletion and displayed similar patterns between defoliation sequences. Patterns of TNC and digestibility during sward depletion may not be represented by those in intact swards, and PM allocation of daily herbage may not increase 24-h mean dietary TNC density relative to AM allocation. Daily quantities of ingested TNC could be higher for PM herbage allocation if livestock consume proportionately more herbage in the PM than we simulated.

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