Nutritive value, fermentation characteristics, and in situ disappearance kinetics of ensiled warm-season legumes and bahiagrass
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This study determined the nutritive value, ensiling characteristics, and in situ disappearance kinetics of bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flügge 'Tifton 9'), perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth. 'Florigraze'), annual peanut [Arachis hypogaea (L.) 'FL MDR 98'], cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. 'Iron clay'], and pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. 'GA-2']. All forages were harvested at maturity stages that optimized dry matter (DM) yield and nutritive value. After harvest, forages were wilted to 45% DM, and 4 replicate bales of each legume and 8 bales of bahiagrass were wrapped in polyethylene and ensiled for 180 d. After each bale was opened, the forage was thoroughly mixed, and representative subsamples were taken for laboratory analysis and in situ incubation. Wilting and ensiling decreased the rumen-undegradable protein, water-soluble carbohydrate, crude protein (CP), and in vitro true digestibility (IVTD) of bahiagrass, perennial peanut, and cowpea, and increased their neutral detergent fiber (NDF) concentrations. Among haylages, CP concentration was greatest for annual peanut, followed by perennial peanut and cowpea, and least for bahiagrass. In contrast, NDF concentration was greater in bahiagrass than in legumes. Pigeonpea had the greatest NDF concentration among legumes and lowest IVTD of all haylages. All haylages were aerobically stable for at least 84 h, but pH was lower in perennial peanut and cowpea than in pigeonpea. Ammonia-N concentrations tended to be greater in legume haylages than in bahiagrass haylage. Butyrate concentration was greater in annual and perennial peanut than in bahiagrass. Total VFA concentration was greater in annual and perennial peanut and cowpea haylages than in bahiagrass haylage. Undegradable DM fractions were greater and extent of DM degradation was lower in bahiagrass and pigeonpea than in other haylages but lag time and degradation rates did not differ. Annual and perennial peanut and cowpea haylages were as aerobically stable and had greater CP, IVTD, and extent of degradation than did bahiagrass haylage; therefore, they are promising forages for dairy cow diets in the southeastern United States.
author list (cited authors)
Foster, J. L., Carter, J. N., Sollenberger, L. E., Blount, A. R., Myer, R. O., Maddox, M. K., Phatak, S. C., & Adesogan, A. T.