Evaluation of white dover and red dover mixtures for Iactating dairy cows

Ernesto Jahn B.1

Two forage mixtures: 1. red dover (Trifolium pratense L.) and ryegrass (LoIium perenne x Lolium multiflorum); and 2. white dover Cv. Ladino (Trifolium repens) and ryegrass (LoIium perenne) were evaluated with dairy cows during a 90 day grazing period. Pastures were established in spring and grazed in summer and falI of the same growing season. Red dover was cut and produced 2,400 kg of hay/ha, before grazing was started. Each mixture was evaluated under 2 grazing presures, called “optimum” and “heavy”. The treatments were also evaluated in a switch back design, usfng an optimum grazing pressure. White dover produced more per animal and per ha than red dover. With the optimum pressure, production was 13.4 and 12.3 kg/cow/day and 2,948 and 2,337 kg/ha, for white and red dover, respectively. Production per cow was 8.9 to 15.8% higher for white dover mixture. White dover maintained a higher carrying capadity than red dover, differences ranging from 9.4 to 33.9%, depençiing on the method of evaluation. Red dover produced earlier in spring than white dover, but total production during the first year was similar for both mixtures. Botanical composition was 64 and 24% white dover and ryegrass, respectively, and 82 and 13% red dover and ryegrass, respectively.

1 Estación Experimental Quilamapu (INIA), Casilla 426, Chillán, Chile.