July 29, 2008

Pasture Glossary

Aerobic: Chemical process that needs oxygen.
Anaerobic: Chemical process that does not need oxygen.
Annual ryegrass: Fast-establishing, winter-active ryegrass which generally persists for 9-12 months.
Argentine stem weevil (ASW): Insect which attacks ryegrass, cereals, maize.
Auricles: Claw-like projections a blade base, varying in size and hairiness. Used in identifcation.
Autumn flush: Fresh growth of pasture that grows in autumn.
Autumn-saved pasture (ASP): Pasture not grazed in autumn and saved for winter.
Awn: Bristle-like projection on seed husk.
Back fencing: Electric fence that stops stock walking on what they have grazed.
Balage: Pasture harvested and wrapped in plastic. DM% around 40%.
Baling: The mechanica process of sqeezing hay or silage into bales for storage.
Biennial: Plant that takes two years to complete life cycle.
Blade: Upper part of leaf.
Block grazing: Stock left in paddock to graze for a few days without being moved.
Break fencing: Grazing system where pasture is fed to stock in small breaks (usually daily).
Brome: Genus of dryland grass. Includes species of pasture brome, grazing brome and prairie grass.
Cellulose: Main carbohydrate of pasture plants and can be digested by ruminants.
Certification: Quality control system to ensure variety indentity and purity is maintained.
Certified seed: Seed which has a P & G (purity & germination).
Clipped seed: Seed with the awns mechanically removed to improve sowing.
Collar: Narrow zone of tissue at junction of blade and sheath.
Conditioning: Agitating pasture plants soon after mowing (or as part of cutting) to hasten wilting and drying.
Controlled grazing: System to ration pasture according to animal requirements.
Controlled grazing systems: System to ration pasture to meet stock’s needs.
Crimping: Mechanically crushing newly cut pasture plants to hasten wilting and drying.
Culm: Stem of grass in flower.
Cultivar: A named line of grass or clover within a particular species. Same as variety.
Defoliation: Removal of the leaf of a pasture plant either by machine or animal.
Digestiblility: The proportion of feed eaten that is digested so is available to the animal.
Diploid: Plant species with double the number of normal chromosomes. Most ryegrass and red clover varieties are diploid.
Direct drilling: Drilling seed directly into the soil or an established pasture,
Dry Matter: The weight of feed (e.g. Pasture) after drying and minus the water content.
Ear emergence: When the seedhead appears out of the stem of a grass plant. Same as flowering date.
Endophyte: Fungus that grows inside a plant. Can affect animal health and insect attack. Several endophytes are available in ryegrass.
Endophyte level: Percentage of seed in permanent pasture ryegrass seed containing the live endophyte fungus.
Ensilage: The process of preserving plants by compression and removal of air.
Ergovaline: Toxin produced by some ryegrass endophytes.
Feed budget: Exercise to measure if the feed on the farm is in balance with the feed needs of the stock.
Fibre: Nutritional component of plants which can be digested by ruminants.
Flowering date: The average date of ear emergence.
Forage: General term for fibrous feed such hay and straw.
Forage grass: Grass used in pastures for grazing.
Glabrous: Without hairs.
Grass species: The different botanical groups of grasses used in pastures. The most common ones are:
  • Annual meadow grass Poa annua
  • Barley grass Hordeum murinum
  • Browntop Agrostis tenuis
  • Cocksfoot Dactylis glomerata
  • Couch Agropyon repens
  • Creeping bent Agrostis stolonifera
  • Creeping fog Holcus mollis
  • Crested dogstail Cynosurur cristatus
  • Crowfoot Eleusine indica
  • Italian ryegrass Lolium multiflora
  • Kentucky bluegrass Poa pratensis
  • Kikuyu grass Pennisetum clandestinum
  • Kneed foxtail Alopecurus geniculatus
  • Meadow fescue Festuca pratensis
  • Meadow foxtail Alopecurus pratentis
  • Paspalum Paspalum dilatatum
  • Perennial ryegrass Lolium perenne
  • Phalaris Phalaris aquatica
  • Prairie grass Bromus willdenowii
  • Ratstail Sporobolus africanus
  • Rough stalked meadowgrass Poa trivialis
  • Summer grass Digitaria sanguinalis
  • Sweet vernal Anthoxanthum odoratum
  • Tall fescue Festuca arundinaceae
  • Timothy Phleum pratense
  • Yorkshire fog Holcus lanatus

Grazing herbs: Herb species included in pastures (e.g. Chicory, plantain( that are rich in minerals and medicinal properties,
Growing point: Point in a plant near the ground from which growth occurs.
Hairs: Generally found on blade or sheath.
Haploid: Plant with half the normal number of chromosomes.
Hay: Dried pasture plants preserved as stock feed.
Haylage: Mature pasture cut and wrapped for later feeding. Usually around 40% Dry Matter.
Herbs: Plantain; Chicory
Inflorescence: Flower or seed head.
Italian ryegrass: Fast-establishing winter-active ryegrass. More persistent than annual ryegrass.
Keel: Central ridge on lower surface of blade or sheath.
Leaf sheath: Base of ryegrass tiller close to the ground.
Legume: Plant with rhizobia on its roots that fixes nitrogen from the air.
  • White clover Trifolium repens
  • Red clover Trifolium pratense
  • Lucerne (Alfalfa) Medicago sativa
  • Subterranean clover Trifolium subterraneum
  • Strawberry clover Trifolium fragiferum
  • Lotus major Lotus uliginosus
  • Birdsfoot trefoil Lotus corniculatus
Lignin: Part of plant which provides rigidity and cannot be digested by ruminants.
Ligule: Upstanding membrane at base of blade.
Line of seed: Seed that originates from the same seed crop.
Litter: Dead material found on the surface of pastures usually in dry periods.
Lolitrem B: Toxin produced by standard endophyte that causes ryegrass staggers.
Long-rotation ryegrass: Ryegrass species intemediate between perennial and short-rotation ryegrass in growth and persistence.
ME: Metabolisable energy. Value used to measure energy in a feed, measured in megajules/kg of DM. (MJ/kgDM).
Mixed sward pasture: Pasture containing severel kinds of forage species e.g. grasses and clovers.
National Forage Variety Trials (NFVT): Co-operative system to test pasture varieties.
Node: Part of stem from which leaf arises.
Nodules: Found on roots of legumes in which rhizobia bacteria live and convert Nitrogen from the air into nitrate in the soil.
On-off grazing: Techique of grazing stock for short intervals before removal.
Overgrazing: Grazing pasture plants too low resulting in slow regrowth or pasture damage.
Oversowing: Applying new seed to an existing pasture.
Paddock: Area defined by a fence in which stock are grazed. A field.
Palatability: Term used to describe preference animals have for different plants/pastures.
Panicle: Flower head of grass with spiklets on repeatedly branched stalks.
Pasture cover: The amount of pasture on an area available for grazing measured in KgDm/ha.
Pasture growth rate: The amount of pasture on an area available for grazing measured in KgDm/ha/day.
Pasture mass: The amount of pasture on an area available for grazing measured in kgDM/ha.
Pasture pests: Pests which damage the foliage or roots of pasture plants.
  • Army caterpillar Pseudaletia separata
  • Black field cricket Teleogryllus commodus
  • Black beetle Heteroncychus arator
  • Grass grub Costelytra zealandica
  • Porina moth Wiseana cervinata
  • Stem weevil Hyperodes bonariensis
  • Tasmanian grass grub Aphodius tasmaniae
  • White fringed weevil Graphognathus leucoloma
Pasture renovation: Replacing an old pasture with new seed.
Pasture wedge: A method of expressing the feed supply on a farm, in the shape of a wedge.
Pasture weeds: (most common)
  • Barley grass Hordeum murinum
  • Black nightshade Solanum nigrum
  • Californian thistle Cirsium arvense
  • Chickweed Stellaria media
  • Dandelion Taraxacum officinale
  • Giant buttercup Ranunculus acer
  • Inkweed Phytolacca octandra
  • Milk thistle(variagated) Silybum marianum
  • Nodding thistle Carduus nutans
  • Pennyroyal Mentha pulegium
  • Ragwort Senecio jacobaea
  • Scotch thistle Cirsium lanceolatum
  • Storksbill Oxalis corniculata
  • Stinking mayweed Anthemis cotula
  • Winged thistle Carduus tenuiflorus
  • Yarrow Achillea millefolium

Peramine: Toxin produced by most ryegrass endophytes protecting plants from Argentine stem weevil.
Perennial: Plant that lives for an indefinate period and flowers at least once per year.
Permanent pasture: Long-term pasture which may last 5-10 years or longer.
Persistence: How well a plant variety survives.
Phalaris: Grass species with strong rhizomes.
Phalaris toxicity: Toxicity which can happen on phalaris-based pastures.
Photosynthesis: Process by which green plants convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and oxygen using sunlight as an energy source.
Phyto-oestrogens: Chemicals in red clover that can affect animal (usually sheep) fertility.
Plant pulling: Where grass plants are pulled out under grazing.
Plant variety rights (PVR): Intellectual property system for plants and endophytes.
Prostrate growth: Plant with low or flat growth habit.
Pugging: Trampling damage caused by livestock to pastures in wet conditions.
Pugging tolerance: Ability of plant variety to stand up to pugging
Respiration: Process in plants by which they use oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. Light is not needed. Happens during wilting.
Rhizome: Underground runner or stem.
Ribs: Ridges on upper surface of blade.
Root nodules: Small white lumps on the roots of legumes in which rhizobia bacteria live and convert nitrogen in the air to nitrate in the soil.
Root reserves: Feed supplies for the plant stored up in the roots.
Rotational grazing: Grazing system where stock are moved in a planned rotation over an area controlled by electric fences.
Rotation length: The length of time it takes for stock to graze around the farm and return to the paddock they grazed today.
Seed analysis certificate: From the national seed laboratory of New Zealand providing specifications on a seed sample.
Sheath: Lower part of leaf.
Short rotation: A grass plant which is normally productive for 1-2 seasons.
Shuffle grazing: Same as rotational grazing.
Silage: Preserved pasture or crop either in a pit or wrapped in plastic film.
Species: Same as cultivar.
Spikelet: A single unit (seed) in a grass flowering head.
Spraying out: Process of killing established pasture plants before resowing or cultivating.
Spring flush: Rapid growth of pasture in spring.
Stocking density: The number of stock on a farm expressed as number/ha or kg liveweight/ha.
Stocking rate: See stocking density.
Stolon: Surface runner or horizontal stem.
Strip grazing: Grazing a paddock in controlled strips.
Tedding: Shaking up a crop of pasture after cutting to accelerate drying.
Tetraploid: Plant with double the number of normal chromosomes.
Tiller: Vegetative shoot of a grass from growing point.
Tillering: The process of producing new shoots after grazing or cutting.
Topping: Cutting off the top of pasture plants to prevent seeding and encourage more vegetative growth.
Treated seed: Seed treated with chemicals to prevent insect and fungal attack.
Tussock: Tufted grass without stolons or rhizomes.
Tramlines: Translucent lines (grooves) on either side of vein of blade.
Wastage: Proportion of feed which is not eaten.
Variety: Same as cultivar.
Vernalisation: Cold temperature that triggers (vernalises) spring seeding in pasture species.
Wrapping: Process of preserving fresh grass to make silage or balage. Hay may also be wrapped.
Wilting: Process to encourage respiration of plants before making hay or silage.

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