Original scientific paper
Forage grass productivity and quality in south-western part of Pannonian basin
2019, 20 (1) p. 341-352
The aim of the research was to compare the productivity and quality of several forage grasses in the climate conditions of south-eastern Europe. The research was conducted during 2012 and 2013, in the south-western part of the Pannonian basin (vicinity of Osijek, Croatia). The experiment included 5 grass species: Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata), hybrid ryegrass (Lolium x boucheanum), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and timothy (Phleum pratense) cut three times per year, i.e. 6 cuttings in total for two years. The results have shown that there were significant statistical differences for all investigated traits between the species, years and their interaction at the P˂0.05 levels. In average, the highest dry matter yield was achieved during the first year of using (10.4 and 9.1 t*ha-1). In average two years of using, the highest yields of dry matter had Italian ryegrass and cocksfoot. Quality results showed that the cocksfoot was the least digestible because it contained over 700 g*kg-1 of NDF and 450 g*kg-1 of ADF, unlike the perennial ryegrass which had 559 and 327 g*kg-1 of NDF and ADF. The final results showed the productivity per hectare where the most energy-producing species of Italian ryegrass with the possible production of 19,739 liters of milk with 4% milk fat. On the base protein productivity, the most prominent was the cocksfoot which could produce 11,878 liters of milk from 713 kg proteins in one year. The results show that none of the tested grasses had a balanced relationship between protein and energy.