The effects of management intensity on the content of net energy for lactation and crude protein of grass-clover mixtures, cocksfoot ( Dactylis glomerata L.), perennial ryegrass ( Lolium perenne L.), white clover ( Trifolium repens L.) were investigated. Increasing cutting frequency from four to five times per year resulted in a higher content of net energy and crude protein of the forage. Nitrogen fertilization of grass-clover mixtures had a slight influence on the content of net energy but decreased the content of crude protein. The net energy content of mixtures, which received 0, 15 or 30 kg N/ha and growth cycle, was lower compared to perennial ryegrass, but the yield of net energy was higher in grass-clover mixtures than in monocultures.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are important for healthy soils and crops. A pan-European study shows that plant-protection products adversely affect these fungi, reducing their ability to supply plants with phosphorus via their roots.
Birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin are used in mixtures for perennial hay meadows and for tannin-containing fodder. Agroscope is adding two new cultivars of birdsfoot trefoil to the ‘List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants’, whilst there is no change in the case of sainfoin.
Tall oat grass and golden oat grass are typical hay-meadow grasses that are also suitable for forage mixtures. Of the four tall and three golden oat grass varieties tested, only one new variety of tall oat grass is likely to make it onto the List of Recommended Varieties.