Effects of Moisture Level at Baling and FRESH CUT brand Plus on Quantity and Quality of Alfalfa Hay Harvested in Large Rectangular Bales

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Exhibit Hall AB (Kansas City Convention Center)
Kenneth E. Griswold , Kemin Industries, Inc., Des Moines, IA
Ruben Almada , Kemin Animal Nutrition & Health, Des Moines, IA
Alden Lipata , Kemin Animal Nutrition & Health, Des Moines, IA
Eugene Rodberg , Kemin Animal Nutrition & Health, Des Moines, IA
Abstract Text: The effects of baling moisture and FRESH CUT® brand Plus (Kemin Industries, Des Moines, IA), a propionic acid-based preservative, on quantity and quality of alfalfa hay harvested in large rectangular bales were determined in a split plot design. Baling moisture, low (LM, <15%) vs. high (HM, >20%), was the main plot, and control (NT) vs. Fresh Cut Plus (FC+) applied at recommended levels was the subplot. Weight, mold and yeast counts, and nutrient content were determined for fresh (day of baling) and cured (8 wk after baling) bales using composite samples from 6 cores per bale. Data were analyzed using JMP software with models that included the fixed effects of baling moisture, FC+, and the interaction of moisture by FC+. Significance equaled P < 0.05 and trends equaled 0.05 < P < 0.10. Mold and yeast counts were log transformed prior to analysis. Data are presented on DM basis. The interaction of HM baling and FC+ increased (P<0.01) fresh bale weights (709 vs. 644 kg, respectively) and tended (P=0.06) to increase cured bale weights (719 vs. 635 kg, respectively) compared to all other treatments. In cured bales, mold and yeast counts were lower (4.5 vs. 5.4 and 5.1 vs. 5.8, respectively; P<0.01) for HM vs. LM bales. In fresh bales, mold and yeast counts were not affected (P>0.10) by FC+, but were lower (4.7 vs. 5.2 and 5.3 vs. 5.7, respectively; P<0.05) in cured bales compared to NT. There were no effects or interactions (P>0.10) of baling moisture and FC+ on nutrient content of fresh bales. In cured bales, the baling moisture and FC+ interacted to lower (P<0.05) sugar content (4.62 vs. 6.09%, respectively) and concomitantly increase (P<0.05) lignin (5.42 vs 4.59%), ADICP (2.73 vs. 2.41%), and fat (1.77 vs. 1.66%) content, respectively. In cured bales, FC+ lowered (P<0.05) CP (25.2 vs. 25.7%) compared to NT, and HM baling increased (P<0.05) ADF (29.4 vs. 28.1%), NDF (38.4 vs 36.8%), and ash (14.1 vs. 13.6%) content compared to LM, respectively. However, there were no significant (P>0.05) effects of treatments on feeding value of fresh or cured alfalfa as determined by MILK2006 software. Overall, these results would suggest that baling at high moisture in combination with FC+ treatment allowed for the harvesting and retention of more high quality alfalfa DM in large rectangular bales compared to baling at low moisture with or without FC+ application. 

Keywords: alfalfa, moisture, FRESH CUT Plus