Research Station Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil, CH-1260-Nyon 1

Beef fattening on grazed grass-clover mixtures: interest of the tall fescue

Beef production from pasture leys is foreseen as a possible alternative to cropping and dairying in the Swiss lowlands. New varieties of tall fescue are described as adequate for grazing in dry conditions. Experiments were conducted in four sites from 2007 to 2009 comparing two grass-clover mixtures (dominant grass: SM 460 = perennial ryegrass; SM 462 = tall fescue variety Belfine) grazed by young cattle. Regarding grass growth and organic matter digestibility, no differences could be measured between both mixtures during the first two years characterised by regular rainfall. Under dry conditions in 2009, SM 462 showed the best yielding capacity. In addition to its good summer growth, tall fescue appeared well adapted to grazing with beef cattle.

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