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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Daily Variation in Carbohydrate Content of Selected Forage Crops1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 61 No. 2, p. 239-242
    Received: July 12, 1968

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  1. D. A. Holt and
  2. A. R. Hilst2



Daily variation in percentages of water-soluble carbohydrates, total nonstructural( 0.2 N H2SO4 soluble) carbohydrates, and differences between these, representing nonstructural polysaccharides exclusive of fructosan, in alfalfa (Medicago sativa), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), bromegrass (Bromus inermis), and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) were investigated.

Water soluble carbohydrate percentages in alfalfa followed a curvilinear diurnal trend from a low at 6:00 A.M. to maximum levels at 12:00 noon and decreased slightly by 6:00 P.M. Nonstructural polysaccharide content followed a nonlinear daily trend with the most rapid increase occurring in the afternoon.

The grasses underwent linear increases in water soluble carbohydrate percentages from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Likewise, the nonstructural polysaccharide content of the grasses followed an increasing linear trend in the daytime. Nonstructural polysaccharide content increased more rapidly in bromegrass and tall fescue than in bluegrass. Variation in water-soluble carbohydrate content accounted for almost all of the daily variation in total nonstructural carbohydrate content of bluegrass.

Alfalfa and bluegrass grown under low potassium nutrition had significantly higher water soluble carbohydrate percentages than those growing under high potassium nutrition.

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