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Cumulative Forage Production, Forage Quality and Livestock Performance from an Annual Ryegrass and Cereal Rye Mixture in a Pine Walnut Silvopasture

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Abstract

Annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) and cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) pastures can extend the grazing season in the lower Midwest. There is little data from this region on the productivity of these forages in a silvopasture system. Our objective was to determine the forage and livestock production from annual ryegrass/cereal rye in a silvopasture versus an open (non-forested) system. This study was conducted near New Franklin, MO, USA. The treatments were (1) annual ryegrass/cereal rye planted into a 6- to 7-year-old stand of pitch pine (Pinus rigida Mill.) × loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) hybrids and black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) (TREE treatment) and (2) the same forages planted into pastures without trees (OPEN treatment). Marshall annual ryegrass and cereal rye were no-till seeded at 22 and 67 kg ha-1 of pure live seed, respectively, on 18 September 2000 and 30 August 2001. Treatments were replicated three times in a randomized complete block. In March 2001 and 2002, three beef heifers were assigned to each pasture and rotationally grazed until early June. Cumulative forage production and quality were measured for each treatment. Cumulative forage production in the TREE treatment was reduced by approximately 20% compared to the OPEN treatment. However, beef heifer average daily gain and gain ha-1 were equal for both treatments. Beef producers using a annual ryegrass/cereal rye in a silvopasture system likely would not sacrifice livestock production when hybrid pine and black walnut trees are 6- to 7-year-old when compared to an open pasture.

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Correspondence to R.L. Kallenbach.

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Contribution of the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station and the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry. This work was funded through the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry under cooperative agreements AG-02100251 with the ARS and CR 826704-01-0 with the US EPA. The results presented are the sole responsibility of the authors and/or the University of Missouri and may not represent the policies or positions of the ARS or EPA.

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Kallenbach, R., Kerley, M. & Bishop-Hurley, G. Cumulative Forage Production, Forage Quality and Livestock Performance from an Annual Ryegrass and Cereal Rye Mixture in a Pine Walnut Silvopasture. Agroforest Syst 66, 43–53 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-005-6640-6

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