Title page for ETD etd-05042004-160319

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Raines, Pepper Monique
Author's Email Address peraines@vt.edu
URN etd-05042004-160319
Title Management and Livestock Performance of Alfalfa-Tall Fescue Mixed Stands
Degree Master of Science
Department Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Smith, S. Raymond Committee Chair
Abaye, Azenegashe Ozzie Committee Member
Fontenot, Joseph P. Committee Member
  • alfalfa
  • tall fescue
  • alfalfa-tall fescue
  • rotational stocking
Date of Defense 2004-04-26
Availability unrestricted
Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) have many desirable forage attributes, are grown extensively throughout the USA, and combined form a productive pasture mixture. The objective of this research was to develop recommended management practices for alfalfa-tall fescue mixtures and compare livestock performance, forage quality, and productivity of this mixture to N-fertilized endophyte-free tall fescue. Forty-eight Angus or Angus crossbred steers were rotationally stocked on a four-replicate alfalfa-tall fescue and N-fertilized tall fescue pasture system during 2002 and 2003. Livestock gain, forage quality, and forage production were monitored throughout the seasons. Management treatments conducted within wire exclosures included defoliation height, rest period, exclosure movement, and month and were evaluated using detailed botanical composition and persistence measurements. Defoliation height, rest period, and month all affected alfalfa-tall fescue competition. Alfalfa was generally more competitive with longer rest periods and shorter heights, although results were not consistent. Alfalfa composition and persistence declined dramatically over the 2003 season due to climate, grazing management, and cultivar. Cool, high moisture conditions stimulated tall fescue growth and reduced alfalfa vigor and survival. Livestock gains were higher for pure tall fescue at one date in 2002, but higher overall for alfalfa-tall fescue during 2003. Forage quality (CP, NDF and ADF) was consistently higher for alfalfa-tall fescue during both seasons. In conclusion, both alfalfa-tall fescue and N-fertilized endophyte-free tall fescue produce productive pastures and high ADG in beef steers in Virginia, but continued management research is required to maintain the alfalfa component of this mixture.

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  01titlepage.pdf 60.61 Kb 00:00:16 00:00:08 00:00:07 00:00:03 < 00:00:01
  02preliminarypages.pdf 73.59 Kb 00:00:20 00:00:10 00:00:09 00:00:04 < 00:00:01
  03chapter1.pdf 70.21 Kb 00:00:19 00:00:10 00:00:08 00:00:04 < 00:00:01
  04chapter2.pdf 200.65 Kb 00:00:55 00:00:28 00:00:25 00:00:12 00:00:01
  05chapter3.pdf 414.94 Kb 00:01:55 00:00:59 00:00:51 00:00:25 00:00:02
  06chapter4.pdf 338.36 Kb 00:01:33 00:00:48 00:00:42 00:00:21 00:00:01
  07chapter5.pdf 61.45 Kb 00:00:17 00:00:08 00:00:07 00:00:03 < 00:00:01

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