Submitted to: Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Series
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2008
Publication Date: 12/1/2008
Citation: Hardin, L.A., Coffey, K.P., Killian, A.E., Caldwell, J.D., Philipp, D., Coblentz, W.K. 2008. Effect of lactic acid-lactobacillus preservative and moisture concentration at baling on intake and digestibility of crabgrass hay by lambs and in-situ digestibility by heifers. Arkansas Animal Science Department Report 2008. (11):43-45.
Technical Abstract: Crabgrass is a warm-season annual forage that has greater nutritive value than most other warm-season grasses and is highly palatable, but curing time for crabgrass hay is typically longer than for bermudagrass. Crabgrass hay was either not treated or treated with a lactic acid-lactobacillus preservative (LAL) and baled at 2 different moisture levels to determine effects on forage intake and digestion by lambs and in-situ digestibility by heifers. Twelve field plots of crabgrass were assigned randomly to 1 of 4 treatment combinations in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Half of the plots were sprayed with LAL at mowing and half were not sprayed (U). Within LAL and U, half of the plots were baled at 28% (M28) moisture and half at 18% moisture (M18). In Exp. 1, 16 wether lambs were offered 1 of the 4 treatment combinations ad libitum and total feces were collected for 5-d following a 7-d dietary adaptation period. Digestibility of DM was greater (P < 0.01) for M28 vs M18 and from LAL vs U. Digestible DM intake (% of BW) was greater (P < 0.05) from LAL vs. U. In Exp. 2, in situ ruminal degradation kinetics were determined using 6 ruminally-cannulated heifers. The water-soluble fraction was greater (P < 0.05) from M28-LAL and M18-U vs M28-U, and effective degradability was greater (P < 0.05) from M28-LAL than the other treatment combinations. The slowly degraded fraction was greater (P < 0.05) for M28 vs M18. Therefore, treating crabgrass with LAL improved DM digestion and digestible DM intake by lambs and increased ruminal DM digestibility of hay baled at greater moisture.