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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 65 No. 6, p. 993-994
    Received: Nov 17, 1972

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Relationship of Sericea Lespedeza Leaf and Stem Tannin to Forage Quality1

  1. E. D. Donnelly and
  2. W. B. Anthony2



The leaves of sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata [Dumont] G. Don) have been found to contain more tannin than stems. Tannin has been found to reduce digestible dry matter (DDM) of sericea and digestibility of crude protein. An experiment was conducted to study quality of high and low-tannin sericea leaves and stems separately. Low-tannin sericea leaves averaged 20 percentage points higher in DDM than high-tannin leaves, and 19 percentage points higher than low-tannin stems as indicated by the in vivo nylon bag method. The DDM of low-tannin stems was as high as that of high-tannin leaves. High-tannin leaves averaged only slightly higher in DDM than stems of high-tannin plants. Tannin in both leaves and stems of the high and low-tannin groups was negatively associated with crude protein. Data indicate that lowering the tannin content of sericea by breeding increases both the percentage and digestibility of crude protein. Much improvement in sericea forage quality can be made by breeding for low-tannin and high leaf percentage.

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