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Thesis (M.S.)--University of Nebraska--Lincoln, 1954. Department of Agronomy.


Copyright 1954, the author. Used by permission.


A forage crop such as alfalfa, this investigation is concerned with a soil-plant-animal relationship and its bearing upon practices of pasture management and stock feeding. The composition of alfalfa is important, as it relates to the nutrient requirements of the animal consuming it.

In this study the nutrient levels of alfalfa under various treatments are considered briefly in relation to the requirements of domestic animals. More attention is paid to the influence of those treatments, namely additions of barnyard manure, rate of application of phosphorus fertilizer and time of cutting, upon the yield and nutrient status of the alfalfa. In addition, an attempt has been made to evaluate the influence of these treatments on the fertility of the soil and the relationship between this fertility status and the response of alfalfa.

Results of this study showed phosphorus, nitrogen, calcium, and magnesium percentages for all samples of alfalfa analyzed showed that none fell below levels generally considered critical for animal well-being. Applications of manure increased the percentage of phosphorus within the alfalfa plant. Increasing rates of phosphorus fertilization resulted in higher yields of dry matter, phosphorus and nitrogen. It appears there is a relationship between the influence of season and maturity of the alfalfa plant concerning phosphorus content.

Advisor: Fred E. Koehler.