Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/29/2004
Publication Date: 2/5/2005
Citation: Davenport, B.W., Waldron, B.L., Malechek, J.L. 2005. Cattle preference of forage kochia (kochia prostrata) and its relation to forage quality and morphological characteristics. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts.
Technical Abstract: Forage Kochia (Kochia prostrata) is being evaluted for fall/winter grazing by the USDA ARS Forage and Range Research Laboratory in Logan, Utah. This study was conducted to determine cattle preference of 28 exerimental forage kochia lines compared to Medicago, two Krascheninnikovia species, and the only released variety of forage kochia, Immigrant. Cattle preference was determined by subtracting the amount of plant material consumed from the estimated plant weight derived from a regression equation. Visual utilization scores were also used to measure preference. Forage quality was analyzed on each entry using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy. Morphologic and phenologic characteristcs potentially related to preference were made by physical measurements and visual evaluations. There were significant differences among Kochia prostrata accessions for all traits evaluated. Three entries, Immigrant, BC-118 and U-20, were comparable to Ladak alfalfa and were significantly higher in percent herbage consumed than other kochia entries. These same entries were consistently high in utilization ratings, forage quality analysis, and most morphological characteristics. Most entries were preferred over Krascheninnikovia sp., a desirable forage on Intermountain rangelands. From this study, we conclude that cattle will consume many types of forage kochia accessions, but some are more palatable to cattle and were comparable to Medicago sp.