Conservation of artichoke and broccoli coproducts in baled silages

Alvaro Garcia

The artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) consists of a variety of a species of thistles cultivated as a food. The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers bloom. Once the buds bloom, the structure changes into a coarse and barely edible form. Artichokes are cultivated in several parts of the world. In Europe they contribute to the agricultural economy of the Mediterranean region, accounting to nearly 60% of the world production.

Broccoli is an edible green plant of the cabbage family (family Brassicaceae, genus Brassica) with a large edible flowering head. Broccoli is a cultivar of the species Brassica oleracea with large flower heads usually dark green in color, surrounded by leaves and arranged in a tree-like structure branching out from a thick light green stack. It resembles cauliflower which is a different cultivar group of the same Brassica species. It is native to the Mediterranean where more than 40% is produced together with Southeast Asian regions.

Use of artichoke and broccoli coproducts to feed livestock

Once artichoke flower-heads are harvested (20% of the biomass) for human consumption, what’s left in the field are leaves, stems and some inflorescences (80% of the biomass). This byproduct has been used to feed livestock in Europe, Asia, and America.

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