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Timothy yield and nutritive value under climate change in Canada

Jing, Q., Bélanger, G., Qian, B., Baron, V. (2013). Timothy yield and nutritive value under climate change in Canada, 105(6), 1683-1694. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/agronj2013.0195

Abstract

Timothy (Phleum pratense L.) is a dominant forage grass in Canada but its performance under projected future climate conditions has not been evaluated. This study combined the grass model CATIMO (Canadian Timothy Model) with baseline (1961-1990) and projected future (2040-2069) climate scenarios to assess the response of timothy to climate change at 10 sites across Canada. Projected future conditions are expected to have the following effects on timothy: (i) earlier growth onset (10-site average: -21 d; range: -4 to -40 d), date of first harvest (-15 d; -11 to -25 d), and date of second harvest (-20 d; -17 to -29 d), along with a later end to the growing season (+12 d; 0 to +18 d); (ii) increased dry matter (DM) yield at first harvest (+355 kg ha-1; -917 to +826 kg ha-1) but decreased DM yield at second harvest (-427 kg ha-1; +47 to -936 kg ha-1); (iii) increased neutral detergent fiber (NDF) concentration at first harvest (+22 g kg-1 DM; -22 to +94 g kg-1 DM) but a small decrease (-3 g kg-1 DM; +7 to -30 g kg-1 DM) at second harvest; and (iv) decreased NDF digestibility at first harvest (-6 g kg-1 NDF; +7 to -30 g kg-1 NDF) and second harvest (-23 g kg-1 NDF; -11 to -35 g kg-1 NDF). The longer growing season (+581°C-d to +1219°C-d) is expected to result in an additional harvest by 2040 to 2069. © 2013 by the American Society of Agronomy, 5585 Guilford Road, Madison, WI 53711. All rights reserved.

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