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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1964. Department of Animal Science.


Copyright 1964, the author. Used by permission.


In many parts of the United States alfalfa makes up a large part of the winter ration of ruminants.It is necessary that livestock have adequate amounts of good quality roughage for feeding between pasture seasons.All too often the quality of alfalfa coming from storage fails to meet expectations.

The quality and quantity of field cured alfalfa produced from a given field varies greatly.This depends on the stage of maturity of the crop when it is cut, the method of handling, its moisture content when stored and weather conditions during the harvest period.

In some regions where alfalfa is grown, seasonal rains and occasional showers are quite prevalent throughout June and often into July.As a result of these seasonal rains, many farmers lose much of the nutritional value of their first cutting of alfalfa.The loss is mainly due to spoilage and leaching of the mowed hay in the field or due to cutting the alfalfa too late in maturity in an attempt to miss the seasonal rains.

There is a need for more information on the merits of baling alfalfa at a higher moisture content than that normally accepted by most farmers.

The purpose of this investigation was to compare the nutritive value of alfalfa hay baled at higher moisture contents than normally accepted as sound practice.There was the possibility of finding a moisture content which would not decrease the nutritive value of the hay, but decrease the time in which the hay would be exposed to the chance of environmental damage.

Advisor:Donald C. Clanton