Mixed perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and white clover (Trifolium repens L.) pastures at Ruakura were sprayed with Mefluidide, a herbage growth retardant, in 3 consecutive spring periods from 1978. Pasture DM yields was markedly depressed at rates as low as 0.2 kg ai/ha and the effects were more marked with early season applications than those applied in late season. Mefluidide reduced the incidence of Poa annua L. in the swards and white clover was increased. In 1979/80, weaned lambs were set stocked on pastures sprayed with Mefluidide at 0.2 kg ai./ha. Live-weight gain/head was increased at each of 3 levels of pasture on offer. Pastures again contained less Poa annua and more white clover. In 1980/1 pastures were sprayed with Mefluidide at 0.2 kg ai/ha Ethofumesate at 0.2 kg ai/ha to eliminate clovers. Lamb gain was again increased on pastures sprayed with Mefluidide although 1 month after application fewer animals were carried at equivalent levels of herbage offer, due to lower herbage growth rates. It is concluded that Mefluidide enhances the herbage quality of perennial ryegrass/white clover pasture and that the technique has special application where per head performance is of paramount importance.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 42, , 165-166, 1982
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