Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952 Page: 86
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86 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1952
An abundance of high quality roughage must be fed to dairy cattle
throughout the year to insure economical milk production. With this
in mind it is necessary to determine what crops will produce the largest
amount of good forage throughout the growing season and what is
the best way to preserve forage for use during the winter or when
growth is slow.
The Michigan station has made a very extensive study of the effect
of soil fertility on the nutritive value of the crops grown thereon.
Several years' research on the amino acid composition of milk proteins
did not reveal any evidence that the nutritive value of feeds is chiefly
dependent on soil fertility. According to preliminary data there
seems to be very little correlation between the level of various elements
in milk and the composition of pasture plants. Ohio's results substantiate
those at Michigan.
The Kansas station fed cows a ration in which the entire roughage
was made up of finely ground No. 1 dehydrated alfalfa in pellet form.
These cows yielded milk markedly lower in butterfat than those fed
a ration containing long hay. Farmers are cautioned by the Oklahoma
station to keep the amount of ground hay in the concentrate
mixture to a minimum. The Wyoming station obtained slightly more
milk from cows fed chopped alfalfa than from those fed with long
hay, but the increased labor involved did not pay for the cost of
For many years it has been known that the digestibility of a
roughage was closely related to its lignin content. But lignin is not
a distinct chemical compound and cannot be determined quantitatively
by any simple chemical procedure. During the year the New York
(Cornell) station has found that the methoxyl content bf forage is an
even better index of the digestibility of a roughage and that digestibility
can be readily measured by present known chemical methods.
The Iowa station has demonstrated conclusively the essential nature
of the fermentative processes normally occurring in the rumen (first
stomach) of mature animals. When feed was placed directly in the
abomasum (fourth or true stomach) without first undergoing fermentation
in the rumen, the animals scoured, became weak and unthrifty,
and lost weight, so that the experiment had to be terminated in 10 days.
Michigan station scientists have attempted to measure quantitatively
fermentation processes normally occurring in the rumen. Although
it has been known for some time that the bacteria in the rumen can
use certain nitrogenous compounds commonly thought of as fertilizers,
such as urea and inorganic ammonium salts, these scientists have shown
that the amount of true protein in the rumen increased as much as 78
percent as the result of the synthesis by the bacteria of these simpler
nitrogenous compounds into proteins suitable for nourishing the
The Pennsylvania station discovered that liquid SO, (sulfur
dioxide) proved very effective in developing the desired acidity for
proper preservation of silage. The rapid rise in acidity resulting
from the use of 5 to 7 pounds of SO, per ton of green material reduced
carotene and protein losses to a minimum.
A ration containing silage preserved with SO,, tested at the New
Hampshire station, caused greatly increased synthesis of thiamine in
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952, book, January 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5990/m1/88/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.