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Crop Science Abstract - TURFGRASS SCIENCE

Storage Characteristics and Nutritive Value Changes in Bermudagrass Hay as Affected by Moisture Content and Density of Rectangular Bales


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 40 No. 5, p. 1375-1383
    Received: Oct 26, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): coblentz@comp.uark.edu
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  1. W. K. Coblentz *,
  2. J. E. Turner,
  3. D. A. Scarbrough,
  4. K. E. Lesmeister,
  5. Z. B. Johnson,
  6. D. W. Kellogg,
  7. K. P. Coffey,
  8. L. J. McBeth and
  9. J. S. Weyers
  1. Dep. of Animal Sci., Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701 USA


Conserving hay at moisture concentrations >200 g kg−1 is known to cause spontaneous heating and negative effects on forage nutritive value. While these relationships have been evaluated extensively for alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), less research has evaluated these factors in warm-season grasses, specifically bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.]. In this study, ‘Greenfield’ bermudagrass was grown on a Pickwick silt loam soil (fine-silty, mixed, semiactive, thermic Typic Paleudult) and packaged in conventional rectangular bales at five concentrations of moisture (178, 208, 248, 287, and 325 g kg−1) and at high and medium bale densities (overall means = 208 and 186 kg m−3, respectively). Bale density had little effect on forage nutritive value after storage. Furthermore, bale density had no effect (P > 0.05) on indices of spontaneous heating (heating degree days >35°C, maximum temperature, and 30-d average temperature), visual evaluation of mold, and dry matter (DM) recovery. Positive linear relationships occurred between concentrations of fibrous forage components and indices of spontaneous heating; coefficients of determination (r 2) statistics were similar for each index of spontaneous heating that was used as the independent variable in these linear regressions. Concentrations of acid detergent insoluble N and neutral detergent insoluble N expressed on a DM basis were positively related to measures of spontaneous heating in close linear relationships (r 2 ≥ 0.80). Regressions of other N fractions on measures of spontaneous heating exhibited lower coefficients of determination, but generally had significant slopes. Results of this study indicate that N in bermudagrass is very susceptible to reductions in bioavailability through heat damage during bale storage, and that this damage is increased with increases in initial bale moisture.

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