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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Influence of Harvest Method on In Vitro Dry Matter Disappearance of Alfalfa and Orchardgrass1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 6, p. 842-844
    Received: Feb 26, 1972

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  1. J. S. Shenk and
  2. A. F. Cook2



A study was undertaken to evaluate the influence of harvest method on forage quality. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) forages harvested in the long form were, respectively, 8.0 and 5.0% higher in in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD) than flail-chopped forage. The flail-chopped alfalfa forage had higher apparent cell wall concentration, less cell wall hemicellulose, and more cell wall lignin. Flail-chopped orchardgrass samples had less cell wall hemicellulose and more cell wall lignin. Hand-harvested samples of both species dried at a faster rate than the flail-chopped samples. Differences in rate of drying were believed responsible for the changes in forage composition and IVDMD. Caution should be used when comparing the quality of forage samples harvested by different methods.

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