Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. James Strickland

Committee Member

Dr. Matias Aguerre

Committee Member

Dr. Charles Rosenkrans


The objectives of this research were to: (1) evaluate the yield, nutritional value, and digestibility of fresh and ensiled reduced lignin alfalfa (RLA; Medicago sativa L.) in monoculture and when mixed with novel endophyte-infected tall fescue (F; Festuca arundinacea) in comparison to a conventional alfalfa (CA) cultivar; and (2) evaluate ensiled samples under varying DM concentrations; with or without inoculant. A trial was prepared as a randomized complete block design with 4 replicates per treatment. Treatments included reduced lignin alfalfa (RLA), conventional alfalfa (CA) and tall fescue (F) plots as well as RLA/F and CA/F plots. Plots were harvested on a 35-day interval, for a total of 5 harvests. Ensiled forage was either treated, or not treated with a lactic acid bacteria (LAB) inoculant, and ensiled at high (50%) or low (35%) DM content. Samples were analyzed for α-amylase-treated neutral detergent fiber on organic matter basis (aNDFom), acid detergent fiber (ADFom), acid detergent lignin (ADL), DM yield (DMY), water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC), crude protein (CP), ash, in-vitro DM digestibility (IVDMD), in-vitro NDF digestibility (IVNDFD), undigestible NDF (uNDF), potentially digestible NDF (pdNDF), as well as for fermentation values in ensiled samples. Results from this study indicated that reduced lignin alfalfa can be grown in monoculture or binary mixture with novel tall fescue and produce similar dry matter yield without sacrificing nutritive value. Additionally, while DM percentage, inoculation, and treatment had a significant effect (P



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.