The objective of this experiment was to compare rumen degradation characteristics of ryegrass (Lolium perenne), white clover (Trifolium repens) or plantain (Plantago lanceolata) harvested either in the morning (0700) or afternoon (1600). Fresh herbage material from each treatment was weighed into duplicate nylon bags and incubated in four lactating Jersey × Friesian dairy cows with rumen fistula. Differences in nutritive value between forage types was greater than effect of harvest time as was the effect on rumen degradation characteristics. Plantain had faster (P<0.001) DM disappearance rates than perennial ryegrass-white clover (12.2 vs 8.80 %/hr). The soluble fraction was greater (P=0.001) for forages harvested in the afternoon (25.2% of DM) than those in the morning (15.4% of DM) regardless of forage type. Nitrogen degradation was almost complete (>95% of N) and similar for all treatments (P>0.05). An interaction for effective degradability revealed there was no effect of harvest time on DM and OM for plantain. However, perennial ryegrass-white clover harvested in the afternoon has a greater effective degradability of DM and OM than that harvested in the morning. This suggested there is a larger influence of harvest time on some degradation characteristics of perennial ryegrass-white clover compared with plantain.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 78, Lincoln, 31-34, 2018
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