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Maize silage-winter crop sequences that maximise forage production and quality

Chakwizira, Emmanuel, Fletcher, Andrew L., Johnstone, Paul R., de Ruiter, John M., Pearson, Andrea J., Parker, Mike
New Zealand journal of agricultural research 2019 v.62 no.1 pp. 1-22
Lolium multiflorum, biomass, corn, dry matter accumulation, energy content, feed quality, forage production, grain crops, grazing, harvest date, hybrids, legumes, oats, sowing date, spring, winter, New Zealand
The effects of winter crop selection, timing of harvest dates for the winter crop and sowing date and hybrid duration for maize crops on total biomass and feed quality for spring-winter crop sequences were investigated. Two sets of experiments were established in each of Canterbury and Waikato regions of New Zealand in 2009–2010 seasons. Winter cereal crops, specifically oats, were more productive, than legumes and Italian ryegrass. Delaying the sowing of maize resulted in increased biomass production of the whole sequence by harvesting more of the spring production of the intervening winter crop. However, delayed harvest of winter crop resulted in declining energy content. Winter grazing decreased the accumulated dry matter production by between 1.3 and 5.2 tonnes dry matter ha⁻¹. The overall results confirm the findings of the earlier simulation study, with delayed maize sowing in order to harvest more biomass from the winter crop increasing yield of the whole sequence.