Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: In an alfalfa biomass production system, alfalfa hay will be fractionated into stem material for conversion to electricity and leaf meal to be sold as a high quality livestock protein supplement. Five unrelated germplasms were established at two locations at four plant population densities (450, 180, 50, and 16 plants m**2). All germplasm by plant density combinations were harvested at two stages of plant maturity, early bud (three harvests per season) and late flower/early pod (two harvests per season). Stem and leaf yield, percent crude protein, and percent neutral detergent fiber were compared among germplasms under the different plant density and maturity treatment combinations. Preliminary results demonstrated that decreased plant population densities and harvesting forage at later maturities may enhance the profitability of an alfalfa biomass production system.