I.M. Pop

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CHARACTERIZATION OF THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF ALFALFA HARVESTED AT DIFFERENT STAGES OF VEGETATION USING CELL WALLS CONTENT BASED METHODS

I.M. Pop, Cristina Gabriela Radu-Rusu, D. Simeanu, Aida Albu, Viorica Popa

Abstract
The purpose of this paper was to nutritionally characterize the alfalfa vegetal mass through the assessment of its cell walls content, differentiated in NDF (cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin), ADF (cellulose and lignin) and Li (lignin). Chemical analysis was performed using the classical method (Weende) and Van Soest method, on average samples taken from green alfalfa harvested during different stages, from SCPCB Dancu Iaşi. Comparison of the achieved results indicated that conventional methods underestimated approximately 40 % the cell walls content in feed (37% in bud stage and 42% during full flowering). Nutritionally, alfalfa harvesting phase induced increased cell walls content, which caused diminution of protein and energy levels, from 1306 kcal NEm/kg DM and 20.50% CP (bud stage) till la 1150 kcal NEm/kg DM and 14.30% CP (flowering).

Key words: nutritional value, cell walls, alfalfa, vegetation stages