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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: 'mat' Harvesting of Forages - Intensive Conditioning to Increase Feeding Value

Authors
item Koegel, Richard
item Straub, Richard - UNIV OF WISCONSIN

Submitted to: California Alfalfa Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 8, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Intensive or severe conditioning of forage crops (sometimes called "maceration") greatly reduces the field-drying time required to reach moisture levels suitable for harvesting as hay or as silage. In addition, severely conditioning alfalfa has been shown to increase alfalfa digestibility by 10% or more. Because of the many small fragments resulting from intensive conditioning, the forage has been pressed into a continuous cohesive strip called a "forage mat". Prototype machines which (1) mow, (2) macerate, (3) form "mats" and (4) place them on the stubble have been built by research and development groups.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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