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Chicory in meadow

« Cichorium intybus L. » chicory is a biennial plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. This upright plant, resistant to freezing, is cultivated in several regions in Europe, but is also more and more present in the United States, in India and in Australia.

In the case of chicory cultivation in meadows as forage, the plant is active during about 4 years. It represents thus an investment on a several years’ period.

The chicory leaves cultivation in meadows gives significant advantages:

  • the chicory leaf contains a bitter substance: the sesquiterpene lactone. This lactone is present in the leaf at 0,26% on D.M. and is well known for its de-worming effect, resulting in a decrease in parasites, and more specifically in the number of eggs (larvae) in the intestines;
  • the chicory leaf grows very well and brings a high-nutritional value to the feed intake. The chicory roots are deeper than grass roots and hence are able to pump water deeper in the ground. The leaves are more resistant during the summer. The upright shape of the leaves does not obstruct the grass or surrounding plants, and then provides a better nutritional income;
  • chicory leaf is better assimilated than ray-grass, and the feed consumption can be increased because chicory leaf is well accepted;
  • chicory leaf brings more varied nutrients than grass and makes the animal’s health better. It improves the animal’s growth thanks to a better resistance to worm infection. Chicory leaf also brings high proportions of:
    • unsaturated fatty acids omega-3;
    • a significant minerals’ content: Fe, Zn and Ca;.
    • a high protein rate together with an interesting amino-acid profile: ratio Meth./Lysine.

 

Socode-Feuilles-chicorees-prairie
Chicory leaves in meadow
Socode-Fleur-chicoree
Chicory plant flower

Variety: industrial chicory
The emergence percentage of this variety is min. 85%.

Number of seeds pro kg: 50000  units
Sowing in meadow: 1 to 2,5kg
Sowing period: in the spring: end March or April,
or in the autumn: September/begin October
Depth: 0,5cm to max. 1cm

To make sure the root is well anchored in the ground, it is recommended not to let the animals graze during an 8 weeks’ period.

Table 1 – Nutritional value on dry matter (8 weeks’ old chicory leaves, samples dated May and August 2008)

    Chicory
leaves
Young grass   Chicory leaves:
composition of fat content 
             
- Dry matter:   11% 16%   FAME      
- Composition based on D.M.:            C14:0 g/kg 0,32 1,02%
Raw proteins g/kg 203,1 160   C16:0 g/kg 4,65 14,64%
Cellulose g/kg 166,7 233   C16:1 g/kg 0,52 1,63%
Fat g/kg 33 30   C18:0 g/kg 0,48 1,52%
Raw ashes g/kg 150 115   C18:1 g/kg 1,58 4,98%
Carbohydrates and/or starch g/kg 82 150   C18:2 LA g/kg 7,10 22,36%
        C18:3 ALA g/kg 16,16 50,92%
          C22:0 g/kg 0,35 1,12%
VEM - 955 905   C24:0 g/kg 0,58 1,83%
VEVI - 1015 942          
FOS g/kg 615 612   Amino-acids   Chic. leaves Young grass
DVE g/kg 97 86   Cystine g/kg 1,05 1,44
OEB g/kg 46 11   Valine g/kg 10,9 8
          Methionine g/kg 2,8 2,4
UFL - 0,96 0,9   Isoleucine g/kg 8,7 5,9
UFV - 0,92 0,86   Leucine g/kg 15,8 11
PDIA g/kg 16 36   Tyrosine g/kg 5,20 3,5
PDIN g/kg 128 101   Tryptophan g/kg 2,4 2,4
PDIE g/kg 101 92   Lysine g/kg 9,2 6,4
          Histidine g/kg 3,35 2,9
Nutritional value horse kcal/kg 3159 3237   Arginine g/kg 9,25 7,05
          Glutamic ac. g/kg 23,7 16
Nitrites g/kg 0,52 ?   Glycine g/kg 9,55 7,5
Nitrates g/kg 41,09 ?   Proline g/kg 8,8 7,05
ADF g /kg 273 260          
ADL g/kg 92,8 0          
NDF g /kg 430 430          

Table 2 – Analysis on minerals: chicory leaves and English grass (« perennial ryegrass »)

Element Chicory leaves
according to literature
Analysis 06/2008 English grass
(« Perennial ryegrass »)
 Zinc (ppm) 66-117 39 14-20
 Copper (ppm) 13 8 6-7
 Manganese (ppm) 210-400   50-300
 Iron (ppm) 300 100 25-30
 Magnesium (%) 0.28-0.44   0,26 0.16-0.20
 Sulphide (%) 0.5   0.3
 Phosphorus (%) 0.3-0.5      0,38 0.35-0.40
 Calcium (%) 0.9-1.3 1,26 0.25-0.30
 Potassium (%) 2.6-6.9 5,2 2.0-2.5
 Sodium (%)   0,04 0,2

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