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Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Technological solutions for better utilization of alfalfa in ruminant nutrition

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.02.02  Biotechnical sciences  Animal production  Animal nutrition 

Code Science Field
B420  Biomedical sciences  Nutrition 

Code Science Field
4.02  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Animal and Dairy science 
Keywords
alfalfa, stage of development, fertilization, net energy for lactation, protein, beta carotene, vitamin E, hay, silage, condensation drying, riparian zones
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (18)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  05658  PhD Drago Babnik  Animal production  Researcher  2014 - 2017  361 
2.  02936  PhD Jure Čop  Plant production  Researcher  2014 - 2017  253 
3.  24416  PhD Klemen Eler  Biology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  281 
4.  17008  PhD Anastazija Gselman  Plant production  Researcher  2014 - 2017  139 
5.  16059  PhD Veronika Kmecl  Chemistry  Researcher  2014 - 2017  437 
6.  09085  PhD Katarina Košmelj  Mathematics  Researcher  2014 - 2017  232 
7.  05087  PhD Branko Kramberger  Plant production  Researcher  2014 - 2017  514 
8.  11889  PhD Andrej Lavrenčič  Animal production  Researcher  2014 - 2017  330 
9.  33233  PhD Branko Lukač  Plant production  Researcher  2014 - 2017  144 
10.  25012  MSc Ben Moljk  Plant production  Researcher  2014 - 2017  349 
11.  19322  MSc Miran Podvršnik  Plant production  Researcher  2014 - 2017  94 
12.  17757  Janez Sušin  Plant production  Researcher  2014 - 2017  745 
13.  14548  PhD Špela Velikonja Bolta  Chemistry  Researcher  2014 - 2017  420 
14.  13374  Janko Verbič  Plant production  Researcher  2014 - 2017  328 
15.  10035  PhD Jože Verbič  Animal production  Principal Researcher  2014 - 2017  919 
16.  17853  Barbara Zagorc  Plant production  Researcher  2014 - 2017  352 
17.  22606  PhD Tomaž Žnidaršič  Animal production  Researcher  2014 - 2017  182 
18.  11431  MSc Vida Žnidaršič-Pongrac  Chemistry  Researcher  2014 - 2017  205 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0401  Agricultural institute of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5055431  19,872 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  64,086 
3.  0482  University of Maribor, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences  Hoče  5089638004  10,133 
Abstract
In the nineties of previous century in Slovenia alfalfa was grown on about 10,000 ha , then by 2003 the volume of production decreased to less than 1000 ha . In recent times the volume of production increases again. Alfalfa has deep roots and is relatively well adapted to drought conditions. It is a plant with a high capacity of symbiotic nitrogen fixation from the air and is generally not fertilized with nitrogen fertilizers. Alfalfa is distinguished by very high protein content. In Slovenian conditions protein yields are two to three times higher than in soybean. Alfalfa is also a rich source of vitamins. Some research suggests that alfalfa is suitable for the restoration of areas with increased concentration of nitrates in groundwater. Alfalfa is very suitable for organic farming, which has banned or restricted the use of nitrogen fertilizers, synthetic vitamins and feed from genetically modified organisms. With the increase in the proportion of alfalfa in crop rotation there is a potential to increase the organic matter in arable soils, thus contributing to the improvement of soil fertility and water - retention capacity of the soil. To increase the competitiveness of alfalfa cultivation some new technical solutions are needed. Up to date knowledge based recommendations for the cultivation and harvesting of alfalfa, as well as recommendations for its inclusion in animal diets are also needed. Within the project we propose six work packages. Work package 1: Optimizing the production of alfalfa in terms of quantity and quality of feed ( and making a key for determining the its quality on the field) In the frame of work package the research on the impact of mowing time on herbage yield, development stage, composition and energy value of the feed will be performed. It is characteristic for alfalfa that the plants of very different stages of development appear in the stand at the same time. Therefore, the evaluation of the composition and energy value of alfalfa on the basis of typical developmental stages seems unreliable. Based on the results we will create a key for indirect determination of the feed quality in field conditions. The optimal period for alfalfa harvesting will be defined, both in terms of quantity as well as quality of the crop. Work Package 2 : Options and significance of introducing intensive alfalfa cultivation The purpose of the work is to determine to what extent the energy value of alfalfa forage can be improved by intensification of cultivation (more frequent mowing), what are the yields that can be achieved and to asses the energy value and yields of alfalfa in comparison to perennial ryegrass, which is considered to be the highest quality grass. At the same time we will check whether during the spring time, when the symbiotic nitrogen fixation is limited due to low temperatures, it makes sense to fertilize alfalfa with nitrogen fertilizers. Given that a positive response of alfalfa to nitrogen fertilization could be a result of limited number of free-living symbiotic fixation bacteria in the soil, the effect of seed inoculation with Sinorhizobium meliloti will also be investigated. All procedures will be evaluated also in terms forage ensilability. Treatments will be economically evaluated. Work package 3: Alfalfa and its grass mixtures to green riparian zones which lie on arable land Due to environmental requirements agricultural holdings have to provide the coverage of riparian areas with a green cover. The exact field trials will examine the possibility of using alfalfa and its mixtures to green riparian strips of arable land in order to protect water and to extend feed supply on mixed arable - livestock farms. The experiment will also be used for demonstration purposes, as an example of good agricultural practice for the issues under discussion. Work package 4: Looking for the optimal solutions of alfalfa harvesting (drying and ensiling) Losses of leaves which occur during the preparation of
Significance for science
Projekt je usmerjen v reševanje praktičnih težav pri pridelovanju in uporabi lucerne. Nekatere od njih, kot je npr. sušenje lucerne v valjastih balah, so primerne predvsem za območja razdrobljenega kmetijstva alpskih dežel (majhne kmetije). Gre za rešitve, za katere ne moremo pričakovati, da jih bomo dobili od drugje. Pričakujemo, da bodo za širšo mednarodno javnost zanimivi rezultati o določanju optimalne faze razvoja za košnjo, pa tudi o vplivu gnojenja z dušikovimi gnojili v času omejene sposobnosti lucerne za simbiotsko vezavo dušika na pridelek, energijsko vrednost in sposobnost lucerne za siliranje.   Za razvoj stroke bo pomembna tudi vzpostavitev tesnejšega sodelovanja med raziskovalci. Projekt združuje raziskovalce iz različnih področij (travništvo in pridelovanje krme, konzerviranje krme in prehrana živali, ekonomika kmetijstva, statistika) in različnih inštitucij (Kmetijski inštitut Slovenije, Biotehniška fakulteta, Fakulteta za kmetijstvo in biosistemske vede).
Significance for the country
Projekt je vezan na razpisano vsebino: »izboljšati obstoječe načine konvencionalne in ekološke reje prežvekovalcev z vidika krmljenja živali z doma pridelano voluminozno krmo ob vključevanju metuljnic, ohranjanju pestrosti travinja in pretežno zaprtega krogotoka hranil: določiti kakovost doma pridelane voluminozne krme (regijsko), izdelati priporočila za pridelavo kakovostne voluminozne krme in njene vključitve v obroke, vključno s proučitvijo optimalnih tehnoloških možnosti za pridelavo kakovostne lucerne«.   Rezultati projekta bodo pomembni predvsem za področje pridelovanja krme in govedoreje. Gre za področja, ki prispevajo približno 45 % vrednosti kmetijske proizvodnje v Sloveniji (goveje meso 14,0 %, mleko 14,4 %, krmne rastline 17,3 %). S projektom naslavljamo nekatere osnovne usmeritve Operativnega programa za izvajanje Resolucije o strateških usmeritvah razvoja slovenskega kmetijstva in živilstva do leta 2020 (v fazi predloga). Gre za vsebine kot so: povečanje konkurenčnosti prireje mleka in mesa s poudarkom na izboljšanju učinkovitosti reje in trajnostni reji, zmanjšanje odvisnosti slovenske govedoreje od svetovnega trga žit in beljakovin, boljše izkoriščanje naravnih danosti, s pridelavo poljščin z višjo dodano vrednostjo v shemah kakovosti za poljščine in ekološki pridelavi ter krepitev tehnološkega razvoja in učinkovit prenos znanja v proizvodnjo in v prilagajanje podnebnim spremembam vključno z varstvom rastlin.   Učinke pričakujemo predvsem na naslednjih področjih: prilagajanje podnebnim spremembam – lucerna je rastlina ki dobro prenaša sušo, ekološko kmetijstvo – lucerna je rastlina, ki je ni treba gnojiti z dušikovimi gnojili in ki s simbiotsko vezavo dušika podpira krogotok dušika na kmetiji, kolobar – lucernino seno je tržno blago, lucerna pa s tem primerna tudi za gojenje na specializiranih poljedelskih kmetijah, za katere je značilna manjša vsebnost organske snovi v tleh.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2015, 2016, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, 2016, final report
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