Forage quality of native pasture in a Mediterannean area

G. LICITRA*, S. Carpino, I. Schadt,  M. Avondo, S. Barresi

Progetto Ibelo, Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie delle Produzioni Animali, Università di Catania, Viale Europa 134/bis, 97100 Ragusa, Italy


The field sites in the Hyblean region of Sicily were studied for their forage quality and botanical composition. A total of 70 plant species were analyzed. Another 36 were rare and of insufficient quantity for analysis. Forthy-three bulk samples combining all existing species were also prepared and analyzed. The chemical analyses included were dry matter, ash, neutral-detergent fiber (NDF), acid-detergent fiber (ADF), lignin, total nitrogen nonprotein nitrogen (NPN) soluble nitrogen and degradable protein. Quality varied over the growing season declining with forage maturity. The nutritional quality was high overall. Nongrass nonlegue species dominated. The most abundant species of high quality was a Compositae, Calendula arvensis, which represented approximately 22.8% of the available forage.

Keywords: Pasture, Species, Botanincal composition, Mediterranean area

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Giuseppe Licitra

Prof. DISPA Università di Agraria Catania