In the Mediterranean area, semi-extensive mixed farming systems characterise the inland landscape and guarantee the mainte-nance of several agroecosystem services. Rationed and rotational grazing have been proposed as efficient agroecological practices for sustainable intensification. Previous studies have highlighted that, during spring, restricted access time to pasture of below four hours per day decreases herbage intake and milk production of rotationally stoked ewes. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of restricted access time on daily herbage intake and milk productivity of Sarda ewes under rotational grazing management in a real farm located in southern Tuscany. The entire flock of 145 lactating ewes was allotted two homogenous groups and rotation-ally stoked on a grass-legume mixed pasture and fed about 1.7 kg of DM ewe–1 d–1 of supplementation. Each group was then assigned to the following treatments: two hours per day of access time to pasture, from 10:00 to 12:00 CET, and four hours per day of access time to pasture, from 10:00 to 14:00 CET. Data on herbage yield and quality, dry matter intake and milk yield were collected from April 5 to May 10, 2018. The rotational grazing schedule was conducted allowing for abundant herbage and exploiting high-nutritive biomass of the upper horizon sward. The results of our on-farm experiment showed that restricting daily access time to pasture down two hours did not reduce the potential daily herbage intake and the milk performance of dairy ewes rotationally stocked on a mixed pasture in spring. Our study also highlighted the capacity of ewes to self-regulate the herbage intake in order to meet their energy requirements, when neutral detergent fibre is not a limiting factor. Our outcomes should encourage researchers and farmers to co-design further on-farm experiments.

An on-farm rotational grazing trial : restricting access time to pasture did not affect the productivity of a dairy sheep flock in spring / A. Mantino, A. Cappucci, F. Annecchini, I. Volpi, E. Bargagli, E. Bonari, G. Ragaglini, M. Mele. - In: ITALIAN JOURNAL OF AGRONOMY. - ISSN 1125-4718. - 16:1(2021), pp. 1711.1-1711.11. [10.4081/ija.2020.1711]

An on-farm rotational grazing trial : restricting access time to pasture did not affect the productivity of a dairy sheep flock in spring

G. Ragaglini;
2021

Abstract

In the Mediterranean area, semi-extensive mixed farming systems characterise the inland landscape and guarantee the mainte-nance of several agroecosystem services. Rationed and rotational grazing have been proposed as efficient agroecological practices for sustainable intensification. Previous studies have highlighted that, during spring, restricted access time to pasture of below four hours per day decreases herbage intake and milk production of rotationally stoked ewes. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of restricted access time on daily herbage intake and milk productivity of Sarda ewes under rotational grazing management in a real farm located in southern Tuscany. The entire flock of 145 lactating ewes was allotted two homogenous groups and rotation-ally stoked on a grass-legume mixed pasture and fed about 1.7 kg of DM ewe–1 d–1 of supplementation. Each group was then assigned to the following treatments: two hours per day of access time to pasture, from 10:00 to 12:00 CET, and four hours per day of access time to pasture, from 10:00 to 14:00 CET. Data on herbage yield and quality, dry matter intake and milk yield were collected from April 5 to May 10, 2018. The rotational grazing schedule was conducted allowing for abundant herbage and exploiting high-nutritive biomass of the upper horizon sward. The results of our on-farm experiment showed that restricting daily access time to pasture down two hours did not reduce the potential daily herbage intake and the milk performance of dairy ewes rotationally stocked on a mixed pasture in spring. Our study also highlighted the capacity of ewes to self-regulate the herbage intake in order to meet their energy requirements, when neutral detergent fibre is not a limiting factor. Our outcomes should encourage researchers and farmers to co-design further on-farm experiments.
ewe; forage; mixed farming; Mediterranean; sustainable livestock production; agroecological practices; mixture; participatory research; co-design.
Settore AGR/02 - Agronomia e Coltivazioni Erbacee
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
1711-Article Text-11588-3-10-20210212.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Publisher's version/PDF
Dimensione 392.67 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
392.67 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/835953
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact