Biofertilizer in the nutritional quality of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the response of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in the nutritional composition to the application of biofertilizers. The experiment was conducted with increasing doses of biofertilizers in a greenhouse at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine / UNESP, Araçatuba-Sao Paulo, Brazil, from April to October 2010. The experimental design was completely randomized with six biofertilizer doses from cattle manure (0, 25, 50, 100, 200, and 400 m3 ha-1) and five replications. Cuts were performed, on average, every 27 days, 10 cm above the ground when 10% of the plants were flowering. Biofertilization had a positive significant impact on foliar nitrogen, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and shoot iron concentrations. The values of crude protein, acid detergent fiber, and neutral detergent fiber did not differ between doses of biofertilizers. Biofertilization is a viable alternative for nutrition of this species, showing positive results in the nutritional composition of alfalfa. However, but long-term studies are necessary to assess the environmental impact of these fertilizers.