Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 48
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48 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1953
ity. At the Louisiana station the fructose content of the semen was
found to vary with the sexual excitement of the bull and the number
of spermatozoa per milliliter. The station established that bulls may.
be expected to produce the highest quality of semen in the winter and
spring and the poorest quality during the summer and fall-following
several weeks of hot weather.
Scientists at the Ohio station carefully measured the effect of castration
on skeletal growth. They found that steers weighed less and had
a smaller heart girth than their identical uncastrated male twin, but
that both animals were about the same height at withers.
A number of State experiment stations are making investigations'
of the role of bacteria in the rumen. The Maryland station found that
the chief end product in the digestion of fermentable carbohydrate
material, except succinate and maltose, is acetic acid. With succinate
and maltose the chief end product was propionic acid. Fatty acids,
if metabolized, yielded only acetic acid. This finding is of special
interest when coupled with a previous one. In 1949 the Wisconsin
station, after trials in which the fat test of experimental animals had
dropped below normal, observed that when acetic acid was given by
stomach tube, the fat test returned toward normal, whereas propionic
acid seemed to have no effect.
The Michigan station found from in vitro trials that penicillin in
the concentrations used (up to 15 units per milliliter) stimulated bacteria
which attack fiber (cellulolytic organisms). The station also
was able to show that rumen micro-organisms can utilize urea nitrogen
to synthesize amino acids. The Illinois station observed that the
particle size of the cellulose substrate had little or no influence on rate
of digestion. Several cultures of rumen streptococci were isolated
which actively hydrolyze starch, principally into lactic acid.
In testing the nutritive quality of some new feeds on the market,
the Pennsylvania station found that dicyanodiamide, a nitrogen-containing
industrial product, was satisfactory as a partial supplement
for protein in dairy heifer rations. The New Jersey station added
molasses in a dry form to dairy rations. No difference in growth
response was noted when the dried molasses was fed in amounts up to
22 percent of the ration. Recent research has indicated that ground
corncobs improve certain beef rations. However, dairy cattle rations
containing corncobs always gave poorer results than standard dairy
rations at the Indiana station. Similar trials at the Virginia station
The feeding of minerals in excessive amounts may not only be wasteful
but may have an adverse effect on the cow. The New Hampshire
station reports that the feeding of 100 grams of limestone daily to a
cow caused a significant depression in the digestibility of the protein
in her feed. When the land on which timothy and bromegrass was
grown had been heavily fertilized, the forage was low in cobalt,
iron, and copper, and fairly low in manganese. Under the same conditions
ladino clover was low in iron and manganese. There was
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/50/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.