Wheat viscosity is a qualitative characteristic of cereals. Certain studies indicate positive effects for human health linked to high viscosity, such as the lowering of cholesterol or a reduction in cancer risks. Where the feeding of livestock is concerned, however – especially monogastric animals – low levels of viscosity are desirable. In fact, among other things, a high viscosity reduces enzymatic activity in the animal’s gut, slows down the passage of the alimentary bolus, and reduces the rate of absorption of the feed. To counteract these disadvantages, the industry enriches forage mixtures with enzymes. The viscosity of 48 varieties of wheat was analysed, with 24 varieties being tested during the three years of the trial. Although this trait is highly dependent upon variety, it also varies according to the pedoclimatic conditions of the crop. Seventy per cent of the varieties studied have an average viscosity that is suitable for feed. Viscosity is linked to practically no other agronomic or qualitative characteristic (particularly kernel yield). Despite this, a sub-sample of 11 varieties shows a negative correlation between viscosity and protein content. The results of this study show that producers have access to varieties with highly contrasting viscosities. In-depth knowledge of the viscosities of the different varieties and their targeted usage might contribute to a reduction in the use of enzymes in the mixtures, especially where the breeders themselves produce the raw material for feeding their livestock.
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.
Stevenel P., Wendling M., Brabant C., Suss H., Savoyat C., Dierauer H., Mascher F., Charles R.
FiBL and Agroscope investigated bread wheat varieties to determine their yield and quality stability. The results show that the choice of variety must be adapted to the site and that high yield potential does not go hand-in-hand with a high protein content.
Adapted and high-yielding varieties of forage plants are important for Switzerland as a grassland country. Hybrid ryegrass is a versatile forage grass that, thanks to breeding advances, has become even more persistent, disease-resistant and high-yielding over the past 30 years.