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2005 - 466 p.

Burr medic: An annual legume in Mediterranean sheep systems

Fois N., Ligios S., Sitzia M.

The introduction of self-regenerating species in Mediterranean forage systems is an important tool for sustainable production, due to their high adaptation to grazing and high seed production. To assess the suitability of Medicago polymorpha L. (burr medic) for dairy sheep systems, under rainfed Mediterranean conditions, its forage availability and quality were tested under grazing in a three year trial (1997-2000) on an area of 6 hectares from an organic dairy sheep system, mainly based on forage legumes. Three hectares of burr medic, one in the year of sowing (BM) and two in the first (BM1) and second (BM2) year of regeneration, were rotationally grazed throughout the year by 24 Sarda dairy ewes. Milk yield, during the grazing period, ranged between 1,610 g/ewe/day in winter and 1,510 g/ewe/day in spring. The burr medic, in the Mediterranean environment represents sustainable forage thanks to its good herbage yield, high quality and long persistence.



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Fois N., Ligios S., Sitzia M. Burr medic: An annual legume in Mediterranean sheep systems. In : Molina Alcaide E. (ed.), Ben Salem H. (ed.), Biala K. (ed.), Morand-Fehr P. (ed.). Sustainable grazing, nutritional utilization and quality of sheep and goat products . Zaragoza : CIHEAM, 2005. p. 45-50. (Options Méditerranéennes : Série A. Séminaires Méditerranéens; n. 67). First Joint Seminar of the FAO-CIHEAM Sheep and Goat Nutrition and Mountain and Mediterranean Pasture Sub-Networks, 2003/10/02-04, Granada (Spain). http://om.ciheam.org/om/pdf/a67/06600018.pdf