Next Article in Journal
Carbon Footprint Constrained Profit Maximization of Table Grapes Cold Chain
Next Article in Special Issue
Resistance of Multiple Diploid and Tetraploid Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) Varieties to Three Projected Drought Scenarios for the UK in 2080
Previous Article in Journal
Classification of Varieties of Grain Species by Artificial Neural Networks
Open AccessArticle

Sensitivity of Winter-Active Lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) to Different Grazing Regimes

1
Agriculture Victoria Research, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, 124 Chiltern Valley Road, Rutherglen, VIC 3685, Australia
2
Jeff Hirth Editorial and Agronomic Services, 182 Anzac Road, Springhurst, VIC 3682, Australia
3
Agriculture Victoria Research, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, 915 Mount Napier Road, Hamilton, VIC 3300, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2018, 8(7), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8070124
Received: 6 June 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 16 July 2018 / Published: 19 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Management of Perennial Forage Crops)
Lucerne (alfalfa; Medicago sativa L.) is the key forage for grazing in dryland temperate regions around the world. While rotational grazing of lucerne is recommended, in southern Australia the intervals between grazing events are often chosen in an opportunistic manner, to meet livestock production targets and utilise excessive spring and summer growth. To assess whether the persistence of lucerne is sensitive to variations in rotational grazing management practice, we report on an experiment with four sheep grazing treatments that was conducted for 2.5 years, including three summers, in southern New South Wales. The grazing management treatments were a crash-grazing control, frequent grazing, feed-based rotational grazing and time-based rotational grazing, replicated four times. The number of grazing events, percentage of time under grazing, lucerne top dry matter (DM) at the beginning and end of grazing periods and plant density were measured. The results relating to number of grazing events, percentage of time grazing and DM removed during grazing indicated that four grazing practices had been achieved. The treatments all had significant periods of rest for at least 73% of time and were empirically different in their approach but resulted in similar grazing pressures, in terms of overall pasture removed during grazing. Nevertheless, there was little difference in lucerne densities between grazing treatments over the life of the experiment. We conclude that there is flexibility in the rotational management of grazed lucerne provided adequate rest periods are part of the management program. View Full-Text
Keywords: alfalfa; defoliation; grazing management; density alfalfa; defoliation; grazing management; density
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Burnett, V.F.; Hirth, J.R.; Butler, K.L.; Mitchell, M.L.; Clark, S.G.; Nie, Z. Sensitivity of Winter-Active Lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) to Different Grazing Regimes. Agronomy 2018, 8, 124.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop