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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 66 No. 5, p. 675-677
    Received: Mar 13, 1974



Relation of Foliar Disease of Quality of Alfalfa Forage1

  1. K. T. Leath,
  2. J. S. Shenk and
  3. R. F. Barnes2



A method is needed to detect the effects of foliar diseases on forages in order to determine whether the feeding of diseased forages to animals is potentially dangerous. To obviate some of the difficulties of largeanimal feeding trials, we used the meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) to assay for anti-quality components in diseased alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) produced in the greenhouse. The forage was inoculated sequentially with each of five foliar pathogens and compared with healthy forage for chemical composition, in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD), and weanling meadow vole responses. Foliar disease did not significantly alter chemical composition, IVDMD of the forage, or dry matter digested by weanling voles fed these forages at 60% of their diet. Intake of alfalfa diseased with Uromyces striatus Schroet. was significantly greater than that of the healthy forage and intake of alfalfa diseased with Stemphylium botryosum Wllr. was significantly lower. Weight gains were significantly lower for voles fed alfalfa diseased with Phoma medicaginis Malbr. and Roum. and S. botryosum. Neither intake nor weight gain was affected by forage diseased with Leptosphaerulina briosiana (Poll.) Graham and Luttrell or Pseudopeziza medicaginis (Lib.) Sacc.

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