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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Forage Composition and Losses from Orchardgrass Silage As Affected by Maturity and Nitrogen Fertilization1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 62 No. 6, p. 749-753
    Received: Feb 27, 1970

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  1. Milton A. Sprague and
  2. B. Brooks Taylor2



Experiments were conducted during two seasons where-by orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) previously treated with three rates of nitrogen fertilizer was harvested at two stages of maturity, chopped, and ensiled in large plastic bags. Chemical analyses of fresh forage and silage determined dry matter, nitrogen, hydrolyzable carbohydrate, pH, total titratable acidity, volatile acid, nonvolatile acid, and volatile base content of samples. The relationships between constituents in the fresh forage and losses of these items during preservation and storage were of special interest. Replicate 1-ton silos permitted statistical analysis of data collected. Hydrolyzable carbohydrate content of fresh forage was higher and protein content lower during both seasons which low rates of nitrogen fertilizer were used. Losses of protein during storage were much lower following low nitrogen fertilization and particularly during the warmer drier season. These losses were related to high protein and hydrolyzable carbohydrate content of the forage and resulted in very high volatile base content of the silage. A ratio of 1:1.5 or greater of crude protein to hydrolyzable carbohydrate in the fresh forage is suggested to maintain low losses during storage.

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