Document Type

Other

Publication Date

8-1-2004

Keywords

relative forage quality, relative feed value, alfalfa, haylage

Extension Number

ExEx 8149

Department

Plant Science

Description

Feed quality of alfalfa harvested as haylage or hay depends, to a great extent, on the maturity of the stand. With increasing maturity, plant structural carbohydrates, as measured by the ADF and NDF fractions, increase. These fiber fractions represent the more indigestible parts of the plant. As a result, digestibility and energy obtained through fermentation decrease with maturity. Relative feed value (RFV) has been used for years to compare the quality of legume and legume/grass hays and silages. Having one index to price hay and predict animal performance has been very useful for livestock producers and hay farmers.

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