Effects of storage conditions on the forage quality characteristics and ergovaline content of endophyte-infected tall fescue hays

R. C. Norman, W. K. Coblentz, D. S. Hubbell, R. K. Ogden, K. P. Coffey, J. D. Caldwell, R. T. Rhein, C. P. West, C. F. Rosenkrans

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Abstract

Throughout the southern Ozark Highlands, endophyte-infected tall fescue [Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh] hay often is stored outdoors, without cover. At two research sites (Fayetteville and Batesville, AR), the effects of unprotected storage were assessed for large round bales of tall fescue hay packaged at three diameters (≈1.1, 1.4, and 1.7 m). Bates were stored over winter either inside or outside on wooden pallets and then sampled at three depths (0-0.15 m, 0.15-0.31 m, and 0.31-0.46 m). At both locations, bale diameter had no effect (p > 0.05) on dry matter (DM) recovery or nutritive value. Generally, there was little deterioration of nutritive value during the storage period, regardless of treatment; however, some interactions (p ≤ 0.041) of storage location and sampling depth were observed at each experimental site. Ruminal disappearance kinetics of DM exhibited some statistical differences (p ≤ 0.030) in response to treatment; however, their relative magnitude was generally small, and there was little evidence to suggest biological relevance. After storage, concentrations of ergovaline were not affected (p > 0.05) by baling treatment at Batesville (overall mean 256 μg kg-1); however, this was a 27.3% reduction from the initial concentration immediately after mowing. At Fayetteville this reduction was even greater, failing by 79.4% between standing forage (539 ug kg-1) and samples taken from baled hay after storage (111 μg kg-1). At both sites, bales stored outside on wooden pallets exhibited relatively small changes in nutritive value, disappearance kinetics, and ergovaline at the bale surface relative to the internal portions of the bale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1635-1646
Number of pages12
JournalCrop Science
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

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    Norman, R. C., Coblentz, W. K., Hubbell, D. S., Ogden, R. K., Coffey, K. P., Caldwell, J. D., Rhein, R. T., West, C. P., & Rosenkrans, C. F. (2007). Effects of storage conditions on the forage quality characteristics and ergovaline content of endophyte-infected tall fescue hays. Crop Science, 47(4), 1635-1646. https://doi.org/10.2135/cropsci2006.10.0656