The aim of this paper was to study the mineral contents of a predefined herbage according to its origin, and to compare them with reference values. The fresh herbage from the first seasonal harvest consisted of mixed a populations with, at least, 50% gramineae, without ryegrass dominance and their growth stage was at begin of heading of orchard grass. Various semi intensively managed sites were selected in western Switzerland and in Ticino and classified into four regions (Jura, Central Plateau, Northern Alps and Southern Alps) as well as into three altitude classes (<700, 700–1000, >1000 m a. s. l.). Concentrations of P, K and Se were comparable between regions and all mineral concentrations except Fe were similar between Jura and Central Plateau. Herbage from the Alps presented the highest Mg, S, Co and Zn concentrations and the herbage from the northern Alps was characterised by higher Ca and Cu and lower Zn concentrations than from the southern Alps. The class of altitude had less impact on mineral contents than the region. Only concentrations of Mg and Na increased with altitude, whilst those of K decreased in parallel. Whereas the mineral contents obtained on the Central Plateau and in Jura were compatible with the reference values, those in the Alps differed, mainly for Ca, Mg, S, Cu and Zn.
Mineral content of herbage according to its origin (region and altitude)