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Simulation of herbage production and herbage intake during a rotational grazing period an evaluation of linehan's formula


, : Simulation of herbage production and herbage intake during a rotational grazing period an evaluation of linehan's formula. Netherlands Journal of Agricultural Science 33(4): 385-404

The herbage intake under rotational grazing is often estimated with Linehan's formula (Linehan et al., Journal of the British Grassland Society, 1947, 2: 145-168), which takes into account the herbage production during grazing. In the present study this formula was evaluated by means of dynamic simulation, with measured assimilation-light response curves as the main input. There was a close agreement between the intake figures found using the simulation and Linehan's formula for a common rotational grazing system, i.e., a mean sward height of about 18 cm at the start of a 3-day grazing period and an average daily herbage allowance between 20 and 25 kg DM cow-1 d-1. This result was obtained when herbage mass was measured above a 4-cm stubble. In other practical situations the agreement was less good. This was mainly because Linehan's formula assumes exponential growth of the sward at all stages of growth. Since this is not correct for a sward in the absence of grazing, a new comprehensive formula is developed from the assumption that at the start of grazing the sward is in the linear growth phase. Comparisons with the stimulation output show that this new formula for estimating herbage intake is valid for all situations of rotational grazing.

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