Maize managed on diverse cropping systems and N supply on yield and quality of maize stover silage

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Research Paper 01/05/2014
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Maize managed on diverse cropping systems and N supply on yield and quality of maize stover silage

Akim T. Omokanye, Frank M. Kelleher, Alison McInnes
Int. J. Agron. Agri. Res.4( 5), 65-74, May 2014.
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Abstract

Maize stover can be an inexpensive source of forage for ruminant livestock, which may be grazed, stacked or ensiled. In the present study, maize stover was evaluated for silage yield and quality in five cropping systems using three rates of N fertilizer (0, 60 and 120 kg N ha-1). The cropping system (CS) treatments consisted of cereal-legume (CS1, CS2 and CS3), cereal-cereal (CS4) or cereal-bare fallow (CS5) rotations. The study was part of a series of experiments conducted at Richmond in New South Wales, Australia, to examine the performance of soil, crop, animal (feed evaluation only) and economic components of cropping systems. For feed evaluation purpose, ensiling maize stover at maize grain harvest resulted in the highest silage yields from the CSs that included a legume in the rotation (CS1 and CS3). Silage yields showed significant and positive responses to the application of N fertilizer for all CSs. Silage quality for feeding ruminant animals was highest in terms of CP, P and Ca contents, Ca:P ratio and dry matter intake, for the maize-legume silages made from CS2 and CS3. Maize silage quality is discussed in relation to livestock nutrition requirements.

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