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Sward height variability in ryegrass‑white clover pastor es grazed sequentially by cattle, sheep and goats

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Authors: M. del Pozo, I.A. Wright, T.K. Whyte
Issue: 93A-1 (57-67)
Topic: Animal Production
Keywords: sward height, sequential grazing, sheep, goal, cattle

It was measured the height variability across the whole sward and in sward parches classified by three height categories (tall, medium and short) of Lolium perenneTrifolium repens pastures mantained at 6 cm and grazed by cattle, sheep or goats from 23 May to 28 July (period 1) and subsequently grazed by sheep or goats from 29 July to 2 September (period 2). Although the mean height of the whole sward and of the different sward height categories were similar between animal species treatments, differences on the sward height distributions appeared in both experimental periods. Those paddocks grazed by goats and cattle in period 1 and by goats in period 2 had higher proportions of taller sward heights than those paddocks grazed by sheep during the whole experiment. That provided good evidence that animal species differed in their sensitivity to pasture height and therefore, it would be needed to record biomass vertical distribution within the sward structure in detail when involving sequential grazing by different animal species.

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