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Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa L.) hay was stored outside in loaf stacks for periods of 7, 17, or 29 mo; respective dry matter (OM) losses were 12.4, 25.3, and 29.5%. Changes in crude protein (22.4 to 17.0%) and acid detergent fiber (35.8 to 46.3%) were found following 17 mo of storages. From 17 to 29 mo of storage, further deterioration in forage quality was observed for crude protein (17.0 vs. 14.9%) in vitro dry matter digestibility (60.2 vs. 52.2%), neutral detergent fiber (56.7 vs. 64.1%), acid detergent fiber (46.3 vs. 52.9%), and acid detergent insoluble nitrogen (8.3 vs. 15.0%). These data suggest that losses in OM and forage quality can be quite large when alfalfa hay is carried over for use in subsequent years.
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© 1991 American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.