Course code LauZ1019

Credit points 1

Forage Production and Animal Nutrition I

Total Hours in Course40

Number of hours for lectures8

Number of hours for laboratory classes8

Independent study hours24

Date of course confirmation15.10.2014

Responsible UnitInstitute of Soil and Plant Science

Course developers

author Augsnes un augu zinātņu institūts

Dzidra Kreišmane

Dr. agr.

author reserch

Sarmīte Rancāne


author Augsnes un augu zinātņu institūts

Aleksandrs Adamovičs

Dr. agr.

Prior knowledge

Biol1001, Botany

Course abstract

Fodder production as an agricultural sector. Biological properties of perennial grasses, their cultivation and use in grasslands with the aim of satisfying the physiological needs of farm animals for quality feed in sufficient quantity in summer and winter. Establishment, care and use of cultivated meadows and pastures. The importance and possibilities of using natural grasslands for grazing and mowing. Hay, haylage and silage making technologies for the provision of high-quality fodder, taking into account differences in the chemical composition of plants and nutritional value. Cultivation and use of annual field crops for feeding farm animals, their most important quality indicators. Risks of quality changes during forage making and storage.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

During the study course, students acquire knowledge about the managing and biological properties of perennial grasses and annual field crops, the use of these crops for the preparation of high-quality fodder, the technologies of grass fodder making and quality risks during the making and storage of fodder.

Students acquire the skills to know and characterize the species of perennial grasses used for making of grass fodder, to choose the most suitable fodder making technology for specific conditions, to evaluate the possibilities of using annual field crops for feeding animals, to be able to analyse fodder quality indicators and to recognize damaged fodder.
Students are competent to assess the quality of fodder, the suitability of grasses for animal grazing and the adequacy of fodder making technologies.
1. Knows the possibilities of using natural and cultivated grasslands for providing fodder and the managing and biological properties of perennial grasses - 1st test
2. Skills to recognize the species of Grasses and the most important species of annual field crops - practical work
3. The importance of natural grasslands and the need for their protection - homework
4. Knows the principles of establishing and using of cultivated grasslands and pastures, and the possibilities of using crop production for various species of agricultural animals – seminar classes with student presentations

5. Knows the ways of preparing fodder, are able to assess the quality of fodder and argue his opinion – 2nd test

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Fodder production as an agricultural system, the main tasks of fodder production. Areas of fodder crops, meadows and pastures in Latvia and in the students’ home country, their productivity. The main tasks of grassland management. 0.5 h
2. Biological properties of grasses of meadows and pastures. Classification of plants into botanical groups - grasses and legumes and their characteristics. 0.5 h
3. The influence of ecological factors on the growth and development of grasses. The duration of the vegetation period, its influencing factors, vegetation phases and changes in the quality of grasses, edibility and digestibility of grasses. Protein and energy provision in grass fodder. 0.5 h
4. Natural grasslands, their importance and protection. The concept of meadow. Possibilities and conditions for using natural meadows and pastures for grazing and mowing. 0.5 h
5. Installation of cultivated lawns. Liming of lawns. Application of organic and mineral fertilizers. Lawns care and regrowth of grasses. 0.5 h
1st test on previously learned topics (paragraphs 1-5). Graded. 0.5 h
6. Establishment and rational use of cultivated pastures. Free range, paddock and portion grazing system. Calculation of pasture area for different species of domestic animals. 0.5 h
7. Care of pastures. Preparation of pastures in spring for grazing. Mowing of uneaten grass. Spreading of livestock manure. Conditions for starting of grazing in spring and ending in autumn. Risks in pastures. 0.5 h

Seminar on establishment and using of pastures for different species of animals. Graded.
8. Theoretical foundations of rational use of meadows. Mowing of grass. Optimal terms, frequency and height of grass mowing. 0.5 h
9. Importance of hay, their making technologies and storage, factors affecting quality. 0.5 h
10. Importance of haylage and silage, their making technologies, storage and quality influencing factors. Types and use of chemical preservatives and biological enzymes for grass fodder. 1 h
11. Cereals. Technologies for growing summer crops (summer barley, spring wheat, oats) and winter crops (winter wheat, winter rye, triticale, winter barley) and their use for fodder. 0.5 h
12. Maize cultivation technologies and usefulness for fodder. 0.5 h
13. Characteristics of peas, vetches, field beans, lupines’ and soybeans and possibilities of their use for fodder. 0.5 h
14. Biological characteristics of rapeseed, agrotechnical methods of cultivation and use for fodder. 0.5 h
15. Characteristics of root crops (potatoes, sugar beets, fodder beets and carrots) and possibilities of their use for fodder. 0.5 h
Seminar on the use of annual field crops for fodder for various animal species. Graded.
2nd test on the use of grasses and field crops for fodder, its quality compliance and suitability for feeding animals of various species (paragraphs 6-15). Graded. 0.5 h

Topics of practical works and seminars:
16. Morphological and managing characteristics of the grasses of the legumes family. 1 h
17. Morphological and managing characteristics of grasses of the grass family. 1 h

18. Seminar with student presentations and discussion on the use of pastures and annual field crops for different species of farm animals. 5 h

Requirements for awarding credit points

Graded test.
The counting task shall consist of:
 two tests on the theoretical substance of the study course;
 practical tasks on topics learned during the course;
 presentation in the student group.

Tests, practical works and the presentation must be credited for receiving an accumulating rating.
If desired, students can take a test to receive a higher grade

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Presentation on grazing of farm animals and feeding with different types of fodder on topics given by the lecturer or freely chosen by the student.
Literature studies, processing and design of practical work results.
Group work during practical classes.

Preparation for tests.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The assessment of the study course depends on the cumulative assessment of the tests, success of practical works and presentation of the study course.
Practical works must be carried out in accordance with the instructions; assessment — credited/uncredited

All tests and practical works must be successfully completed.

Compulsory reading

1. Adamovičs A. (2017). Zālāju ierīkošana un izmantošana. Jelgava, 136. lpp.
2. Adamovičs A., Kreišmane D., Narvils M. (1998.) Zālāju ierīkošana un izmantošana zemnieku saimniecībās. Ozolnieki: LLKC. 40 lpp.
3. Augkopība (2004.) A. Ružas red. Jelgava: LLU. 283.–331. lpp.
4. Rein Viiralt, Are Selge (2012). Producing High Quality Feed Grassland Management. In: Sustainable agriculture. [Tiešsaiste] Pieejams:
5. Michael O’Donovan, Mary McEvoy. Managing your Grass. Chapter 37. [Tiešsaiste] Pieejams:

6. David Blakesley, Peter Buckley (2016). Grassland Restoration and Management (Conservation Handbooks) 1st Edition, Kindle Edition. Pelagic Publishing [Tiešsaiste][skatīts 22.07.2019] Pieejams:

Further reading

1. Pankovs J., Ivanovs S., Viesturs D. (2004). Zāles lopbarības sagatavošanas tehnoloģijas un mašīnas. LLU, 125 lpp.
2. Frame J. and Laidlaw A.S. (2014) Improved Grassland management. The Growood Press Ltd, United Kingdom. 352 p.
3. Frame J. (1992) Improved Grassland Management. Farming Press, United Kingdom. 351 p.
4. Eddie O’Riordan. Managing your Grass. Chapter 32, [Tiešsaiste] Pieejams:

5. Study materials in Moodle under “Forage Production and Animal Nutrition I” (LauZ1019).

Periodicals and other sources

1. Interneta resursi un periodiskie lauksaimniecības izdevumi: žurnāls Agrotops, Latvijas Lopkopis u.c.
2. Saimnieks LV. Rīga: TEE BIO, 2004- ISSN 1691-1598.
3. “Grass and Forage Science” is the official journal of EGF, in co-operation with the British Grassland Society. More information can be found at:


Compulsory course for students of the level 2 vocational higher education study programme Veterinary medicine in full-time studies. In the 2nd