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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Maturity and Plant Density Effects on Leaf and Stem Quality in Alfalfa

Authors
item Lamb, Joann
item Sheaffer, Craig - UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
item Samac, Deborah

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 5, 2000
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. Two Southern European and three U.S. alfalfa germplasms were established at two locations at four plant densities (450, 180, 50, and 16 plants per square meter). All alfalfa agermplasm by plant density combinations were harvested at two stages of plant maturity, early bud (3 harvests per season) and early pod (2 harvests per season). Leaf and stem percent crude protein (%CP), percent neutral detergent fiber (%NDF), and percent acid detergent fiber (%ADF) were compared among the alfalfa germplasms under the different plant density and harvest maturity treatment combinations. Leaf and stem %CP decreased as plant density and harvest maturity increased. Early pod maturity and 180 plants per square meter had the greatest leaf and stem %ADF and %NDF. The plant density and harvest maturity treatment combinations will play a role in the profitability of an alfalfa biomass production system.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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