Characteristics of baled silage made from first and second harvests of wilted and severely wilted forages

K. J. Han, M. Collins, E. S. Vanzant, C. T. Dougherty

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23 Scopus citations


First and second harvests of lucerne (Medicago sativa L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and a lucerne-perennial ryegrass mixture [80 or 144 g kg-1 dry matter (DM) of ryegrass] at the first and second harvests were cut and conditioned, wilted to 500 or 700 g DM kg-1 then baled and stretch-wrapped for silage on the same dates. Lucerne bales were denser (411 kg m-3) than bales of perennial ryegrass (331 kg m-3) (P < 0.05). After an 8-month storage period, silage made from high DM-content forage had a higher concentration of neutral-detergent fibre (NDF) and was less digestible than that made from low DM-content forage. Daily DM intakes by beef steers, when the silages of the second harvest were fed ad libitum, were 31.2, 31.2 and 22.3 g kg-1 live weight for lucerne, lucerne-perennial ryegrass mixture and perennial ryegrass silages, respectively (P < 0.01), when the herbage had been wilted to 500 g kg-1. In vivo digestibility of NDF in the lucerne-perennial ryegrass mixture silage (0.587) was significantly lower than that of perennial ryegrass silage (0.763) but higher than lucerne silage (0.518). Higher intakes of baled lucerne silage tended to offset its lower digestibility values. Lucerne-perennial ryegrass mixture silage had a higher DM and NDF digestibility than lucerne silage, indicating perhaps the presence of associative effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-31
Number of pages10
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Feeding value
  • Fermentation
  • Forage species
  • Round bales
  • Water content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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