Suitability to ensiling of sulla (Hedysarum coronarium L.) cultivated in North Italy

Gaspari, F.; Cinti, F.; Piccaglia, R.

Land use systems in grassland dominated regions Proceedings of the 20th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, Luzern, Switzerland, 21-24 June 2004: 969-971


Accession: 004336145

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A commercial variety of sulla (Grimaldi), cultivated in the hills of Bologna (North Italy) at 300 m above sea level in a calanchive area, was evaluated for its suitability to ensiling. The crop was harvested, during the first year of cultivation, at three development stages (early flowering, full flowering and seed pod) and, after wilting, was ensiled for six months in 3 L experimental silos. Fresh sulla was characterised by a marked decrease in crude protein and water soluble carbohydrate content with the maturity of the plants (from 166 to 129 g kg-1 and from 111 to 64 g kg-1 respectively) whereas few changes were observed in the other parameters. The ensiling process seemed to be more influenced by the forage dry matter content reached by the wilting process than by the qualitative characteristics of the forage at harvesting. In fact, sulla harvested at early and full flowering stages, with 370-390 g kg-1 of dry matter after wilting, produced silages with good qualitative characteristics, whereas sulla cut at the seed pod stage, with a shorter wilting time and only 300 g kg-1 of dry matter, was less suitable for the ensiling process.