Forage chicory and plantain: Nutritive value of herbage at variable grazing frequencies and intensities

Maria Labreveux, Matt A. Sanderson, Marvin H. Hall

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29 Scopus citations


Cultivars of forage chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and plantain {Plantago lanceolata L.) grown in the northeastern USA have acceptable seasonal productivity; however, their reproductive habit could limit herbage nutritive value. The nutritive value of chicory and plantain cultivars was compared and examined under the effect of variable frequency and intensity of grazing. The cultivars were compared with 'Pennlate' orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), a productive grass during the summer, in two grazing experiments in 3 yr. Pre-grazing herbage samples were analyzed and compared for crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and in vitro true digestibility of dry matter (IVTD). In both experiments, the average CP of entries was 180 to 200 g kg -1, similar to orchardgrass. The NDF of forbs, which ranged from 300 to 400 g kg-1, was 200 g kg-1 lower than orchardgrass. The IVTD of chicory cultivars averaged 850 to 950 g kg-1. In Exp. 1, 'Forage Feast' and 'Puna' chicory had the greatest IVTD (5% greater than orchardgrass: average 911 vs. 867 g kg-1, respectively; P < 0.05). Lancelot plantain had the lowest IVTD in both experiments. Grazing management (frequency of grazing) affected nutritive value in Exp. 1 but not in Exp. 2. Although herbage composition in Exp. 2 varied, continuons reproductive development did not affect nutritive value. Managing Puna chicory and Lancelot plantain using a canopy-height based grazing system to maximize yield and persistence does not compromise nutritive value. Puna chicory could be a good complement to Pennlate orchardgrass in grass-based feeding systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-237
Number of pages7
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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