Date of Graduation
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
Louis M. McDonald.
Forage quality is an important parameter in animal nutrition and depends partly on soil fertility and moisture. Acidic soil pH and low soil moisture are known to decrease forage yield and quality. Liming is a common practice to correct the soil pH. Addition of lime not only improves the availability of nutrients but at the same time adds to the native calcium and magnesium present in the soil. Calcium and magnesium are identified as essential secondary macronutrients known to influence plant's physiological process. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effect of molar combinations of Ca:Mg ratio in liming agent and water potential (WP) on yield, crude protein concentration, mineral concentration, pectin concentration and concentrations of fiber components (neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, and acid detergent lignin) in sudangrass and red clover. The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse as a completely randomized design with nine calcium/magnesium ratios maintained at two WP levels with five replications. Both Ca/Mg ratio and WP significantly affected the above mentioned forage quality parameters. A Soil Ca/Mg ratio of 11:1, obtained by the application of 80-20 (%) Ca(OH) 2--Mg(OH)2, was found to be optimal. Frequently irrigated condition (WP - 16 kPa) increased forage accumulation, decreased crude protein concentration, increased mineral uptake, and increased fiber components. Pectin concentration was also increased by Ca/Mg ratio---a significant finding of our study.
Prasad, Rishi, "Calcium/magnesium ratio and water potential effects on forage quality and pectin concentration" (2010). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 3015.