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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #217556

Title: Dry Matter Losses from Large Round Bales of Alfalfa-Grass Mixtures Stored Outdoors in Central Wisconsin.

item Coblentz, Wayne

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2007
Publication Date: 11/4/2007
Citation: Coblentz, W.K. 2007. Dry Matter Losses from Large Round Bales of Alfalfa-Grass Mixtures Stored Outdoors in Central Wisconsin [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Paper No. 271-11-660.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Two studies were conducted during 2006 to evaluate the effects of outdoor weathering on losses of DM from alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)-grass mixtures stored over winter in 1.2 x 1.4-m round bales. In the first study (GRASS), the forage mixture consisted of orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.; 81%), with a minority percentage of alfalfa (15%). In the second study (ALFALFA), the percentages of alfalfa (74%) and grass (23%) were reversed, with the predominant grass species being volunteer quackgrass [Elytrigia repens (L.) Nevski]. Storage treatments were arranged as a 2 x 2 factorial, plus a control. Bales were tied with either sisal twine or net wrap, and stored outdoors on wooden pallets or directly on the ground. For both studies, positive controls were tied with net wrap, positioned on wooden pallets, and stored indoors. Baling and storage treatments did not interact with study for any poststorage response variable (P > 0.225); therefore data from GRASS and ALFALFA were combined. After storage, bales stored outside exhibited lower concentrations of DM at the bale surface (780 vs. 880 g/kg; P <0.001), greater losses of DM (18 vs. 6 kg DM/bale), and poorer DM recoveries (935 vs. 980 g/kg; P < 0.001) than control bales. Tying method and the tying method x storage location (pallets or ground) interaction did not affect (P > 0.679) storage losses of DM or the proportion of initial DM recovered. Bales stored directly on the ground exhibited a lower concentration of DM at the bale surface (709 vs. 855 g/kg; P < 0.001), poorer recoveries of DM (920 vs. 950 g/kg; P < 0.001), and increased DM loss (22 vs. 14 kg DM/bale; P < 0.001) than bales elevated on pallets and stored outdoors. Under central Wisconsin climatic conditions, improved recoveries of DM can be obtained with either inside storage, or by elevating bales off the soil surface.