Start Date

24-2-2005 1:30 PM

Description

Alfalfa use by dairy cattle has decreased in recent years because of excessive nonprotein nitrogen and low fiber digestibility. Ideal attributes for plant modification of alfalfa may include those that increase milk potential per acre and/or per ton, enhance digestible NDF, improve protein content and amino acid balance, improve agronomic traits for insect protection (safer forage supply), herbicide tolerance, virus resistance, drought tolerance, cold tolerance, improved mineral availability and enhanced yield. Progress in attaining these attributes will accelerate with the use of biotechnology. Livestock and hay enterprises will benefit from alfalfa that is less prone to contain mycotoxins or toxic weeds, or to induce bloat; have improved nutrient utilization for milk and meat production; and produce less animal wastes resulting in improved efficiency, profitability, and a better environment. Value-added traits of alfalfa are needed to provide farmers new high value profitable products. Processing alfalfa to obtain value added products includes three different fractionation methods: 1) wet fractionation; separation into juice fraction and a fiber fraction, 2) dry fractionation; separation into leaves and stems, and 3) fractionation by passage of the whole herbage through the digestive systems of ruminant animals, leaving a high fiber residue. Phytase from transgenic alfalfa has been tested in poultry and swine rations. Alfalfa hay can be fractionated to yield stems and leaf meal. Alfalfa leaf meal has been shown to be acceptable supplement to replace a portion of alfalfa hay and soybean meal in diets of lactating dairy cattle, replace protein supplement in beef cow diets, finishing steer diets and diets of growing turkeys. The fiber portion of alfalfa can produce lactic acid, ethanol or a bioadhesives for use in plywood.

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Feb 24th, 1:30 PM

Alfalfa: Crop for the Future

Alfalfa use by dairy cattle has decreased in recent years because of excessive nonprotein nitrogen and low fiber digestibility. Ideal attributes for plant modification of alfalfa may include those that increase milk potential per acre and/or per ton, enhance digestible NDF, improve protein content and amino acid balance, improve agronomic traits for insect protection (safer forage supply), herbicide tolerance, virus resistance, drought tolerance, cold tolerance, improved mineral availability and enhanced yield. Progress in attaining these attributes will accelerate with the use of biotechnology. Livestock and hay enterprises will benefit from alfalfa that is less prone to contain mycotoxins or toxic weeds, or to induce bloat; have improved nutrient utilization for milk and meat production; and produce less animal wastes resulting in improved efficiency, profitability, and a better environment. Value-added traits of alfalfa are needed to provide farmers new high value profitable products. Processing alfalfa to obtain value added products includes three different fractionation methods: 1) wet fractionation; separation into juice fraction and a fiber fraction, 2) dry fractionation; separation into leaves and stems, and 3) fractionation by passage of the whole herbage through the digestive systems of ruminant animals, leaving a high fiber residue. Phytase from transgenic alfalfa has been tested in poultry and swine rations. Alfalfa hay can be fractionated to yield stems and leaf meal. Alfalfa leaf meal has been shown to be acceptable supplement to replace a portion of alfalfa hay and soybean meal in diets of lactating dairy cattle, replace protein supplement in beef cow diets, finishing steer diets and diets of growing turkeys. The fiber portion of alfalfa can produce lactic acid, ethanol or a bioadhesives for use in plywood.