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Harvest management effects on alfalfa quality

Shewmaker, Glenn E. and Mayland, Hank (2000) Harvest management effects on alfalfa quality. pp. 107-112. In: University of Idaho College of Agriculture: Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences Field Day. USA-ID-Moscow, 2001/06/26.

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To produce dairy quality hay, alfalfa should
be cut at an early maturity (pre-bud stage).
Harvest management such as the time of day
the forage is cut and the rate of hay dry-down
can also affect forage quality. Alfalfa
accumulates total nonstructural
carbohydrates (TNC) during daylight
because photosynthesis produces TNC more
rapidly than they are exported and utilized
for new growth and maintenance. Total
nonstructural carbohydrates are composed of
starch, fructans, sucrose, glucose, and
fructose. Continued plant respiration during
darkness depletes 'INC concentration. After
hay is cut, plant and microbial respiration
will continue to consume TNC until the hay
reaches less than about 16% moisture.
Therefore it is important to dry the hay as
quickly as possible to retain as much INC'
as possible, as well as avoiding rain showers
and allowing the next crop to grow. New
developments in conditioners and forming a
wider windrow were evaluated for the
effects on hay quality. Our objectives in
Study 1 were to: 1) determine daily variation
of carbohydrate concentrations and
accumulation rates in Alfalfa (Medicago
sativa L.), 2) predict a time interval to
maximize for TNC levels in hay, and 3)
estimate the impact of PM cutting on TNC
yield. Study 2 objectives were to evaluate
the effects of windrow width and
conditioner type on alfalfa hay moisture and
forage quality.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
NWISRL Publication Number: 1054
Additional Information: R&E Rpt
Subjects: Irrigated crops > Alfalfa
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:56
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2016 17:17
Item ID: 955