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Article

Effects of Harvest Time on the Yield and Quality of Winter Wheat Hay Produced in Northern Italy

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Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali—CRPA S.p.A, Viale Timavo 43/2, 42121 Reggio Emilia, Italy
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Fondazione CRPA Studi Ricerche, Viale Timavo, n. 43/2, 42121 Reggio Emilia, Italy
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 917; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060917
Received: 1 June 2020 / Revised: 19 June 2020 / Accepted: 21 June 2020 / Published: 26 June 2020
The aim of this work was to study the yield and nutritional characteristics of winter wheat hay. A selection of cultivars recommended for three main purposes: grain, whole plant (biomass) and dual purpose (grain and biomass) production were cultivated and harvested from heading to grain dough stages. Yield dry weight (YDW), dry matter (DM) and undigested neutral detergent fiber (uNDF) increased with advancing maturity, ranging from 9 t ha−1, 20 and 11% of DM to 16 t ha−1, 43 and 17% of DM, respectively; while crude protein (CP) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) decreased from 11 and 59% of DM to 6 and 54% of DM, respectively. Our study showed that dual purpose winter wheat cultivars displayed similar performance of CP, NDF and net energy for lactation, when harvested at heading or grain milk stages. In addition, winter wheat recommended to be harvested as whole plant showed similar values of YDW, sugar and starch contents, when harvested at grain dough and milk stages. These characteristics are strategic in hay production, allowing a more flexible harvesting strategy. These results might be useful to improve the hay production, given useful information on harvest time and improving agricultural sustainability covering the soil in autumn and winter. View Full-Text
Keywords: winter wheat; hay; heading; milk stage; dough stage; crop rotation; double-crop winter wheat; hay; heading; milk stage; dough stage; crop rotation; double-crop
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ronga, D.; Dal Prà, A.; Immovilli, A.; Ruozzi, F.; Davolio, R.; Pacchioli, M.T. Effects of Harvest Time on the Yield and Quality of Winter Wheat Hay Produced in Northern Italy. Agronomy 2020, 10, 917. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060917

AMA Style

Ronga D, Dal Prà A, Immovilli A, Ruozzi F, Davolio R, Pacchioli MT. Effects of Harvest Time on the Yield and Quality of Winter Wheat Hay Produced in Northern Italy. Agronomy. 2020; 10(6):917. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060917

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ronga, Domenico, Aldo Dal Prà, Alessandra Immovilli, Fabrizio Ruozzi, Roberto Davolio, and Maria T. Pacchioli 2020. "Effects of Harvest Time on the Yield and Quality of Winter Wheat Hay Produced in Northern Italy" Agronomy 10, no. 6: 917. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060917

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