Special Issue "Quality and Production of Forage"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Vincenzo Tufarelli

Department of DETO, Section of Veterinary Science and Animal Production, University of Bari Aldo Moro, s.p. Casamassima Km 3, 70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: animal nutrition; poultry nutrition; feed science; technology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The present Special Issue will welcome contributions of both reviews and original articles. The aim is to receive scientific contributions from different countries (Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia, Australia). The contributions will investigate the quality and production of the major and new forages in use around the world (including grasses, cereal or pulse crops used as forage); the influence of forage characteristics on animal performances and products quality; as well as the forage qualitative aspects as affected by conservation methods (hay and silage).

Manuscripts (reviews and original articles) may include, but are not limited to, the impact of the following topics:

  • Innovative strategies for forage production;
  • Forage quality and animal productive performance;
  • Animal products as affected by forage in diet;
  • Fertilization of forage crops;
  • Crop production intensification for sustainable agriculture;
  • Forage yield and quality under different environmental conditions;
  • Forage conservation method.
Dr. Vincenzo Tufarelli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Forage quality
  • Animal feeding
  • Organic and sustainable agriculture
  • Anti-nutritional factors
  • Biomass production
  • Organic and inorganic fertilizers on forage quality

Published Papers (10 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-10
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Herbage Conservation Method on Protein Value and Nitrogen Utilization in Dairy Cows
Agriculture 2019, 9(6), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9060118
Received: 3 May 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 2 June 2019 / Published: 6 June 2019
PDF Full-text (465 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ruminant production systems frequently rely on grassland utilization and conservation of herbage as hay or silage. Conservation affects the crude protein (CP) composition and protein value, which is particularly recognized during ensiling. The aim of the current study was to describe the effect [...] Read more.
Ruminant production systems frequently rely on grassland utilization and conservation of herbage as hay or silage. Conservation affects the crude protein (CP) composition and protein value, which is particularly recognized during ensiling. The aim of the current study was to describe the effect of the conservation method on forage protein value and N utilization in dairy cows. Herbage from the same sward was cut and conserved as silage (SI), barn-dried hay (BH), or field-dried hay (FH). Laboratory evaluation indicated differences in CP fractions and ruminal degradability of CP. Conserved forages were fed to six lactating Holstein cows in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design, and N balance was assessed. Partitioning of N into milk, feces, and urine was affected only moderately. Lower concentrations of serum, milk, and also urinary urea indicated lower N turnover for FH compared to SI and BH, likely due to lower N intake for FH. However, the use efficiency of feed N for milk N did not differ between the types of forage. Further, high CP concentrations and the unbalanced concentrations of CP and energy in the forages led to excess excretion of N in all treatments and presumably superimposed effects of the conservation method on N utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Production of Forage)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Species, Fertilization and Harvest Date on Microbial Composition and Mycotoxin Content in Forage
Agriculture 2019, 9(5), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9050102
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 29 April 2019 / Accepted: 2 May 2019 / Published: 6 May 2019
PDF Full-text (232 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of the project was to evaluate the potential of microbial threat to feed safety in the year 2018. Analyses of the epiphytic community of several forage species (clovers, cocksfoot, fescue, festulolium, perennial ryegrass, timothy and trefoil) in variants of fertilized and [...] Read more.
The aim of the project was to evaluate the potential of microbial threat to feed safety in the year 2018. Analyses of the epiphytic community of several forage species (clovers, cocksfoot, fescue, festulolium, perennial ryegrass, timothy and trefoil) in variants of fertilized and non-fertilized vegetation were performed. The hypothesis is based on the fact that microorganisms are normally present on plant material during its growth all the way from the seed to the senescence; they are influenced by a plant’s fitness, and they affect its harvest and utilization. Microflora was analyzed by cultivation on specific substrates, total microbial count and five specific microbial groups were observed and quantified. Forage species did not affect plant microflora. The highest risk factor of microbial contamination of feed was proved to be harvest date. Mycotoxin contamination of fresh feed was determined (deoxynivalenol and zearalenone) using ELISA. Zearalenone (ZEA) levels were negatively correlated to fertilization intensity, although these results were not statistically significant. Deoxynivalenol (DON) levels were the lowest in a moderate fertilization regime. Significant differences in mycotoxin content were found among botanical species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Production of Forage)
Open AccessArticle
Utilization of Molecular Marker Based Genetic Diversity Patterns in Hybrid Parents to Develop Better Forage Quality Multi-Cut Hybrids in Pearl Millet
Agriculture 2019, 9(5), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9050097
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 3 May 2019
PDF Full-text (2295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Genetic diversity of 130 forage-type hybrid parents of pearl millet was investigated based on multiple season data of morphological traits and two type of markers: SSRs (Simple sequence repeats) and GBS identified SNPs (Genotyping by sequencing-Single nucleotide polymorphism). Most of the seed and [...] Read more.
Genetic diversity of 130 forage-type hybrid parents of pearl millet was investigated based on multiple season data of morphological traits and two type of markers: SSRs (Simple sequence repeats) and GBS identified SNPs (Genotyping by sequencing-Single nucleotide polymorphism). Most of the seed and pollinator parents clustered into two clear-cut separate groups based on marker based genetic distance. Significant variations were found for forage related morphological traits at different cutting intervals (first and second cut) in hybrid parents. Across two cuts, crude protein (CP) varied from 11% to 15%, while in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) varied from 51% to 56%. Eighty hybrids evaluated in multi-location trial along with their parents for forage traits showed that significant heterosis can be realized for forage traits. A low but positive significant correlation found between SSR based genetic distance (GD between parents of hybrid) and heterosis for most of the forage traits indicated that SSR-based GD can be used for predicting heterosis for GFY, DFY and CP in pearl millet. An attempt was made to associate marker-based clusters with forage quality traits, to enable breeders select parents for crossing purposes in forage breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Production of Forage)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Sowing Date Affects Maize Development and Yield in Irrigated Mediterranean Environments
Agriculture 2019, 9(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9030067
Received: 3 February 2019 / Revised: 1 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
PDF Full-text (259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Timely sowing is critical for maximizing yield for both grain and biomass in maize. The effects of early (mid-March), normal (mid-April), and late (mid-May) sowing date (SD) were studied over a three-year period in irrigated maize under Mediterranean conditions. Early SD increased the [...] Read more.
Timely sowing is critical for maximizing yield for both grain and biomass in maize. The effects of early (mid-March), normal (mid-April), and late (mid-May) sowing date (SD) were studied over a three-year period in irrigated maize under Mediterranean conditions. Early SD increased the number of days from sowing to plant emergence. Late SD reduced the number of days to plant maturity, and had higher forage yields, higher grain humidity, and taller plants. The average grain and forage yields achieved were 13.2 and 21.3 Mg ha−1; 14.0 and 25.1 Mg ha−1; and 12.8 and 27.6 Mg ha−1, for crops with early, normal, and late SD, respectively. The data support the general perception of farmers that April sowings are the most appropriate in the area where the experiments were carried out. Early SD resulted in lower population densities, while later SD did not yield (grain) as high. However, late SD produced taller plants that contributed to achieve higher forage yields. Late SD could be interesting for double annual forage cropping systems. Sowing at the most appropriate time, when the soil is warm, ensures a good level of maize grain production. Future research could focus in the effect of SD for total annual yields in double-annual cropping systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Production of Forage)
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Wilting Intensity, Dry Matter Content and Sugar Addition on Nitrogen Fractions in Lucerne Silages
Agriculture 2019, 9(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9010011
Received: 24 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 5 January 2019
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pre-ensiling treatments can significantly influence the composition of lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) silages (LS). Besides dry matter (DM) content and availability of water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC), wilting intensity may exert a strong impact on the crude protein (CP; nitrogen [N] × 6.25) fractions. [...] Read more.
Pre-ensiling treatments can significantly influence the composition of lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) silages (LS). Besides dry matter (DM) content and availability of water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC), wilting intensity may exert a strong impact on the crude protein (CP; nitrogen [N] × 6.25) fractions. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of DM level, wilting intensity, and sucrose addition on N compounds and fermentation products in LS. Pure lucerne stand (cultivar Plato) was wilted with either high or low intensity to DM contents of 250 and 350 g kg−1, respectively, and ensiled with or without the addition of sucrose. Non-protein-N (NPN) concentration in LS was affected by all pre-ensiling treatments and with 699 g kg−1 CP, NPN was lowest in high-intensity wilted high-DM LS with sucrose addition. No effects were observed on in vitro-estimated concentrations of utilizable CP at the duodenum, a precursor to metabolizable protein. Sucrose addition and higher DM level decreased acetic acid and ammonia-N concentration in the silages. Therefore, the present study demonstrated the beneficial manipulation of CP fractions in LS by high-intensity wilting to higher DM contents and that the provision of WSC may be necessary for sufficient silage fermentation and protein preservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Production of Forage)
Open AccessArticle
Trifolium mutabile as New Species of Annual Legume for Mediterranean Climate Zone: First Evidences on Forage Biomass, Nitrogen Fixation and Nutritional Characteristics of Different Accessions
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070113
Received: 14 June 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study evaluated the forage production, nitrogen fixation and the qualitative characteristics of different accessions of Trifolium mutabile, a new species of annual clover, collected in southern Italy. Forage traits were assessed by harvesting plants at the vegetative stage (stem elongation) [...] Read more.
The present study evaluated the forage production, nitrogen fixation and the qualitative characteristics of different accessions of Trifolium mutabile, a new species of annual clover, collected in southern Italy. Forage traits were assessed by harvesting plants at the vegetative stage (stem elongation) and the subsequent regrowth at the flowering stage (inflorescence emergence-main shoot). From results, significant differences were found among the accessions of T. mutabile in terms of forage biomass production (from 5.1 to 8.2 t ha−1 dry matter), capacity of nitrogen fixation (58.2–76.8% Ndfa) and forage nutritional characteristics. Besides the high forage yield, the investigated accessions showed favourable values of production and quality, representing also worthy germplasm for selection programs as well as the application for possible plant cultivar registration. Moreover, it is interesting to underline that T. mutabile may represent a valuable alternative to commonly cultivated annual clover species due to its prolonged vegetative cycle. However, further investigations are needed to assess the self-reseeding capacity of T. mutabile when utilized as pasture species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Production of Forage)
Open AccessCommunication
The Effects of Forage Policy on Feed Costs in Korea
Agriculture 2018, 8(6), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8060072
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 26 May 2018 / Accepted: 27 May 2018 / Published: 29 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (514 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Feeding operations are substantial on livestock farms, besides being potentially expensive. Feeding efficiency has been considered a major influence on profits in the livestock industry. Indeed, feed costs are shown to be the largest single item of production cost in Korea. To promote [...] Read more.
Feeding operations are substantial on livestock farms, besides being potentially expensive. Feeding efficiency has been considered a major influence on profits in the livestock industry. Indeed, feed costs are shown to be the largest single item of production cost in Korea. To promote production and use of domestic forage, the Korean government has enforced the forage base expansion program that strengthens the competitiveness of the livestock industry by reducing the production cost. The forage base expansion program includes three main policies: subsidized forage production, support for processing and distribution, and expanding land for forage production. This paper investigates the influence of the government’s policies often conjectured to have pronounced effects on forage production. To evaluate the forage policies, this paper uses a path-analysis approach linking government spending on forage base expansion programs and feed costs. Results indicate that the Korean government’s spending on supporting domestic forage production results in a decrease in the ratio of forage expenses to total feed cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Production of Forage)
Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Effect of Forage Moringa oleifera L. (moringa) on Animal Health and Nutrition and Its Beneficial Applications in Soil, Plants and Water Purification
Agriculture 2018, 8(9), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8090145
Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2016 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Moringa oleifera L. (moringa) is known as one of the most useful multipurpose plants. It can be effectively utilized as a natural biopesticide and inhibitor of several plant pathogens. Thus, it can be included in integrated pest management strategies. Moringa and its products [...] Read more.
Moringa oleifera L. (moringa) is known as one of the most useful multipurpose plants. It can be effectively utilized as a natural biopesticide and inhibitor of several plant pathogens. Thus, it can be included in integrated pest management strategies. Moringa and its products have different uses in many agricultural systems. The use of moringa as a crop enhancer is an eco-friendly way of improving crop yields at the lowest possible cost. This inexpensive increase in productivity can contribute to meeting some of the food needs in some parts of the world as the global population increases and poverty rates rise. One of the most important characteristics of moringa is that it has high biological and nutritional values and can be used as animal feed, green fertilizer, medicine, biopesticide and in seed production. Moringa has been characterized as a potentially useful animal feed owing to its high content of protein, carotenoids, several minerals and vitamins (such as iron and ascorbic acid) and certain phytochemicals (kaempferitrin, isoquercitrin, rhamnetin, kaempferol and quercetin). This review aims to provide more knowledge about the nature, nutritional value, phytochemicals and uses of Moringa oleifera as a promising material in the fields of soil and plant management, water treatment, as well as animal and poultry production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Production of Forage)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Efficacy of High-Protein Tropical Forages as Alternative Protein Sourcesfor Chickens: A Review
Agriculture 2018, 8(6), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8060086
Received: 4 June 2018 / Revised: 13 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (241 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Smallholders of poultry production systems in developing countries are commonly found in rural, resource-poor areas, and often face food insecurity. The main constraints for smallholders in poultry production in rural, resource-poor areas are the shortage of available commercial dietary protein and the high [...] Read more.
Smallholders of poultry production systems in developing countries are commonly found in rural, resource-poor areas, and often face food insecurity. The main constraints for smallholders in poultry production in rural, resource-poor areas are the shortage of available commercial dietary protein and the high cost of commercial diets. The beneficial effects of legume and forage cultivation are economic, through providing protein for animals, and ecological, such as soil amendment, nitrogen fixation, and stripping control which participate to increase cropping efficiency. The potential nutritive value of a wide range of forages and grain legumes is presented and discussed. The impacts of dietary protein, fiber, and secondary metabolites in plant content, as as well as their consequences on feed efficiency, animal performance, and digestion processes are enclosed in this review. Lastly, approaches to reduce the anti-nutritional factors of the secondary metabolites of plants are explained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Production of Forage)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Feeding Forage in Poultry: A Promising Alternative for the Future of Production Systems
Agriculture 2018, 8(6), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8060081
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 9 June 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present review discusses the existing research findings on the nutritional impact of forages in poultry diet and the significance of forages in sustainable poultry production systems. The nutritional composition and antinutritional factors of the main forages and the pros and cons of [...] Read more.
The present review discusses the existing research findings on the nutritional impact of forages in poultry diet and the significance of forages in sustainable poultry production systems. The nutritional composition and antinutritional factors of the main forages and the pros and cons of feeding forage on poultry meat and egg quality under free-range and organic production systems are also discussed. This review highlights the importance of forages and forage meals in poultry ration, considering that these feedstuffs may have greater value to the success of local poultry production in many regions of the world due to their potential of production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Production of Forage)
Agriculture EISSN 2077-0472 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top