Current views and recent research findings on the plant characteristics influencing (a) herbage production and tolerance of grazing and (b) herbage intake and nutritive value, are reviewed and used to define desirable plant ideotypes for grazing systems. The conflict of interest between physical and physiological characteristics conferring high production and consumption potential on the one hand, and flexibility of production and grazing tolerance on the other, is emphasised. Current progress in and future prospects for the improvement of plants for grazing systems are discussed briefly, with reference to the potential for using mass selection and genetic engineering techniques in the modification of physical and biochemical characteristics. The need for objectivity in screening and evaluation programmes is discussed.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 49, , 285-290, 1989
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