Special Issue "Grazing Effects on the Nutritive Value in Grassland Ecosystems"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Grassland and Pasture Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Michael O'Donovan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Animal and Grassland Innovation Centre, Teagasc, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co Cork P61 C997, Ireland
Interests: grassland; grass dry matter intake; clover; milk production; sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Grasslands are important for agriculture. Permanent and temporary grasslands cover 61 million ha across the EU-28, representing 16% of the total land area and 40% of the European agricultural area. With a growing global population, food demand may increase by nearly 60% by 2050, and therefore, grasslands will face increasing challenges from other land requirements.  Grazing continues to be under threat across the world, however there are still much more opportunities to increase the efficiency and sustainability of grazing systems. To ensure that grasslands continue to evolve innovatively and with better management systems, new and innovative research is necessary to increase sward nutritive value under grazing. This Special Issue will invite scientists to share their work on their improvements in grassland nutritive value across grassland ecosystems. Submissions on the following topics (papers are not limited to these topics) are invited: (1) Innovative methods to increase grassland nutritive value in grazing systems; (2) Role of legumes to increase grazing efficiency; (3) Addition of other species to increase sward nutritive value; (4) Understanding and applying new methodologies to overcome nutritive value deficiencies in grazing systems; (5) Impacts of increased nutritive value on animal grass dry matter intake and (6) Modeling and decision support systems.

Dr. Michael O'Donovan
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. Agronomy 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 1800 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

  • Grassland
  • Grazing
  • Nutritive value
  • Grass quality
  • Dry matter intake
  • Clover
  • Animal performance
  • Digestibility
  • Sustainability

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
The Impact of Herbage Mass on Perennial Ryegrass Swards in Autumn on Autumn and over Winter Production and Characteristics
Agronomy 2021, 11(6), 1140; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061140 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 657
Abstract
Accumulating herbage mass to facilitate the extension of the grazing season in autumn is commonly practised. The objective of the current study was to investigate the effect of accumulating varying target herbage masses (THM) in autumn and imposing different defoliation dates (DD), on [...] Read more.
Accumulating herbage mass to facilitate the extension of the grazing season in autumn is commonly practised. The objective of the current study was to investigate the effect of accumulating varying target herbage masses (THM) in autumn and imposing different defoliation dates (DD), on herbage mass, sward quality and water-soluble carbohydrates in autumn and the subsequent spring. A 4 × 3 factorial split plot design was assigned with four THM (Low ≈ 500 kg·DM·ha−1, Medium ≈ 1500 kg·DM·ha−1, High ≈ 2000 kg·DM·ha−1 and Very high ≈ 3000 kg·DM·ha−1) and three DD (DD1—15 October, DD2—7 November and DD3—21 November), across two years. Measurements were carried out at each DD and in spring. Differences in sward quality were found between each THM on different DD. Sward quality reduced from DD2 to DD3 in the high THM (−13 g·kg−1 DM CP, p < 0.001). The very high THM had the lowest sward quality from DD1 (206 g·kg−1 DM CP, p < 0.001 and 787 g·kg−1 DM DMD, p < 0.05). This study has identified the defoliation date of THM in autumn as key to improving autumn management strategies for increased utilisation and sward quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Grazing Effects on the Nutritive Value in Grassland Ecosystems)
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Article
Ranking Species for Veld Restoration in Semi-Arid Regions Using Agronomic, Morphological and Chemical Parameters of Selected Grass Species at Different Developmental Stages under Controlled Environment
Agronomy 2021, 11(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11010052 - 29 Dec 2020
Viewed by 780
Abstract
The establishment of complementary native grass species could be an ideal method of dealing with existing problems of veld degradation and inadequate forage quantity and quality of pastures. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of native grasses viz., Anthephora pubescens, [...] Read more.
The establishment of complementary native grass species could be an ideal method of dealing with existing problems of veld degradation and inadequate forage quantity and quality of pastures. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of native grasses viz., Anthephora pubescens, Cenchrus ciliaris, Chloris gayana, Dactylis glomerata, Digitaria eriantha, Eragrostis curvula, Festuca arundinacea, Panicum maximum and Themeda triandra. Attributes at different growth stages on agronomy, morphology and chemical composition were checked. Panicum maximum had the broader (p < 0.05) leaves across all growth stages when compared to all other grass species. Festuca arundinacea had highest (p < 0.05) number of tillers than C. ciliaris, C. gayana, D. glomerata, D. eriantha, E. curvula, P. maximum and T. triandra at 2–4-months age. Within each species, all grasses had the highest (p < 0.05) number of leaves at maturity. Chloris gayana, D. glomerata and P. maximum had the highest (p < 0.05) biomass yield when compared to F. arundinacea at the elongation stage. Eragrostis curvula had the highest (p < 0.05) crude protein (CP) values when compared to all other grasses, except for D. glomerata, F. arundinacea and P. maximum at the elongation stage. Panicum maximum and T. triandra had the least (p < 0.05) acid detergent lignin (ADL) values when compared to all other grasses at both vegetative and the elongation stages. In the ranking, C. ciliaris, C. gayana, D. eriantha, E. curvula, P. maximum and A. pubescens outperformed the rest of the grasses on most parameters. With the low crude protein (CP) content of these grasses, protein supplementation is highly crucial for high performing ruminants, especially those animals that graze grasses as their sole diets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Grazing Effects on the Nutritive Value in Grassland Ecosystems)
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