Monday, November 2, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
Kudzu (Pueraria montana), a vigorous, perennial warm-season legume is widely spread in the south-eastern United States, and has a potential to be used as feed by ruminants during its growing season from May until first frost (usually in October). This study was conducted to determine the effects of plant part, sampling date, mean air temperature, and precipitation on dry matter, moisture content, crude protein, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (P), and Ca to P ratio (Ca:P ratio). Five samples of apical leaves and stems were collected from random locations within a 43-year old kudzu infestation grown on a Cecil clay loam (fine, kaolinitic, thermic Typic Kanhapludults) at the Clemson University Experimental Forest (Clemson, SC) from May 21 to October 16 of 2008. Dry matter and crude protein were significantly higher in leaf but sampling date did not have an effect on either dry matter or moisture content. Moisture content was higher in stem but sampling date did not have an effect on moisture content. Magnesium was significantly higher in leaf at the beginning of the growing season until the end of September when no differences in Mg concentrations between stem and leaf was observed. Sampling date affected NDF and ADF stem and leaf (p=0.0001). Stem and leaf Ca concentrations were not different, but the sampling date affected Ca concentration. Phosphorus and Ca:P ratio did not differ by plant part or sampling date (p=0.1). Overall, kudzu’s nutritive value as feed for ruminants during the growing season is highly variable.