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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

A developmental scale for perennial forage grasses based on the decimal code framework

Gustavsson Anne-Maj


Accurate descriptions of developmental stages in perennial forage grasses are important for management decisions during the growing season. It would be advantageous to have a scale and index equivalent to those for other grasses such as cereals. Similar scales would simplify the activities of people working with several crops and facilitate comparisons between perennial forage grasses and related crops (e.g. whole-crop cereals). The objective of this paper is to develop a ‘forage grass decimal scale’, by adapting the universal decimal code framework already understood and used by many agricultural personnel. Furthermore, to improve harvest timing for high-quality silage, new definitions, based on stem development, are used to improve upon the morphological precision of the universal code for the pre- and post-booting periods. The code is adapted to describe individual tillers, while approaches to describe whole stands of forage grasses are also evaluated


Phenological development; perennial forage grasses; timothy; meadow fescue; maturity; decimal code; phasic development; morphology; forage quality; whole crop cereals

Published in

Grass and Forage Science
2011, volume: 66, number: 1, pages: 93-108
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

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