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Gonzalo Tunon

Doctor of Philosophy, (Animal science)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Improving the use of perennial ryegrass swards for dairying in Ireland

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Mr. Tuñon conducted field studies to investigate the effect of grazing management technologies in Ireland. The thesis i) confirmed the importance of grazing at optimum levels of post-grazing heights, with a 1.5 cm difference between treatments (range from 3.6 cm to 4.9 cm) being sufficient to largely impact on the morphology, structure and density of the sward; ii) characterised the level of reduction in pasture accumulation during wet times (14 to 51%), emphasising the need to avoid excessive damage by hoof treading; iii) explored, under cutting and grazing conditions, the effects of grazing interval on tissue turnover of ryegrass, which in turn affect production, quality and persistency of the plants. This work adds to the understanding of the sward-animal interaction under modern grazing conditions. The results from this thesis can be used by farmers and advisors to define grazing management rules that can increase the efficiency in the use of pastures for dairy cows.

Professor Nicolas Lopez-Villalobos
Dr Michael O' Donovan
Dr Emer Kennedy
Dr Deirdre Hennessy
Professor Peter Kemp