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Description

Extensive protein degradation during silage fermentation reduces the efficiency of N utilization by ruminants and excess N is excreted in the environment. Forage nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC) represent the main source of readily fermentable energy for lactic bacteria during silage fermentation. Increasing forage NSC concentration can enhance silage fermentation, lactic acid production, and the decline in pH with an overall reduction in the extent of protein degradation.

The NSC concentration increases during the day in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) to reach a maximum by the end of the afternoon. Under good wilting conditions, PM-cut alfalfa wilted in wide swaths had a greater NSC concentration than AM-cut alfalfa (Morin et al. 2012). Our objective was to study the effect of PM cutting and wide swathing on alfalfa silage quality attributes.

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Increased Sugar Concentration with PM-Cutting and Wide Swathing Improves Alfalfa Silage Fermentation

Extensive protein degradation during silage fermentation reduces the efficiency of N utilization by ruminants and excess N is excreted in the environment. Forage nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC) represent the main source of readily fermentable energy for lactic bacteria during silage fermentation. Increasing forage NSC concentration can enhance silage fermentation, lactic acid production, and the decline in pH with an overall reduction in the extent of protein degradation.

The NSC concentration increases during the day in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) to reach a maximum by the end of the afternoon. Under good wilting conditions, PM-cut alfalfa wilted in wide swaths had a greater NSC concentration than AM-cut alfalfa (Morin et al. 2012). Our objective was to study the effect of PM cutting and wide swathing on alfalfa silage quality attributes.