Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux, Swiss Federal Research Station for Animal Production and Dairy Products (ALP), CH-1725 Posieux

Ensilability of different lucerne and cocksfoot varieties

The ensilability and the silage quality of six different lucerne and five different cocksfoot varieties was tested. The plants were cultivated in the variety testing program of Agroscope FAL Reckenholz. The forage of the first and third cut was used. The forage was pre-wilted to 25 % DM in the first and 30 % in the third cut, short chopped and ensiled in laboratory silos.As to lucerne the fermentabillity coefficients varied between 35 and 39 for the first and between 42 and 54 for the third cut. For cocksfoot these coefficients amounted from 31 to 38 for the first and from 40 to 45 for the third cut.The silages with the different lucerne varieties contained practical no butyric acid, they had high DLG points and therefore the silage quality was good. Butyric acid was found in all silages with the different cocksfoot varieties. The values were higher for the forage of the first in comparison to the third cut. This is a result of the different dry matter contents. The quality of these silages was medium to bad. The results show, that despite of similar fermentability coefficients between lucerne and cocksfoot, there existed differences in the silage quality. The differences between the two plants were bigger than within the different varieties of the same species. Especially with cocksfoot, the pre-wilting degree influenced the silage quality.

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