Submitted to: Southern Pasture and Forage Crop Improvement Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/21/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Grazing trials are conducted for a number of reasons. These all can be placed under two major headings: 1) to address the question of what might one expect from different forage treatments (which might range from different species to different grazing managements of the same species) and 2) to answer the question as to why specific animal responses differed among forage treatments. This paper addresses the type of measurements that are required to understand why different treatments in grazing trials give different animal responses. The major measurements needed, in addition to those in conventional grazing trials are a) canopy characterization, including morphology and nutritive value, b) diet characterization, including diet collection, masticate handling and particle size determination of the masticate, c) grazing time, and d) dry matter intake and digesta kinetics. The integration of these data with herbage mass and animal performance will provide insight into why animal response differences were noted. Special consideration is given to addressing forage and masticate sample preservation such that laboratory data will have application to the green (fresh) forage as consumed by the grazing animal.