See more from this Session: Grazing: I
Monday, November 1, 2010: 9:45 AM
Long Beach Convention Center, Seaside Ballroom B, Seaside Level
In the Coastal Plain region of the southeastern United States, the planting of cool-season annuals, such as annual ryegrass (Lolium multiforum L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), and (or) rye (Secale cereale L.), is common to provide grazing, or harvested as green chop and (or) silage for cattle during the winter-spring season (typically from December to May). New forage cultivars of triticale ( X Triticosecale Wittmack) have gained popularity in this region by dairyman for silage and green chop. A two year 2 x 2 factorial study was conducted to evaluate the suitability of triticale forage, either as a mono-crop or in a blend with annual ryegrass, for grazing by growing beef cattle during the cool season. These two treatments were compared to rye forage, either as a mono-crop or in a blend with ryegrass. The triticale (cv. ‘TriCal 342’), rye (‘Wrens Abruzzi’) and their respective blends with annual ryegrass, (‘Venture’) where planted into clean-tilled pastures during early Nov. (Yr 1) or late Oct. (Yr 2). In all, 8, 0.6 ha pastures were planted each year (2 reps). For each year, 16 tester growing beef cattle heifers (Yr 1; 244+/-27 kg) or steers (Yr2; 254+/-67 kg) divided among two blocks were used. Grazing started late Jan. and lasted until Apr. or May of each year. Overall, estimated forage dry matter yield, animal grazing days and cattle body weight gain per ha were not affected by pasture forage species; however, average daily weight gain of tester cattle tended to be greater (P=0.04) for triticale vs. rye. Blending ryegrass with the forage cereals resulted in longer grazing periods (P<0.001), and increases in forage yield (P<0.001), grazing days (P=0.007), and gain per ha (P=0.002) with no species by mono-crop vs. blend interaction; however, a species by year by mono vs. blend was obtained in that the triticale-ryegrass blend was the best treatment for Yr 1 and rye-ryegrass for Yr 2. While little or no differences were noted between triticale and rye, the triticale pastures were noticeable more even in forage availability during the cool season whereas rye tended to have a large “spike” in forage growth during the early spring. The results suggest that forage triticale is suitable for cool-season pastures, especially if blended with annual ryegrass, for grazing by growing beef cattle.