About 50 people gathered at the Weyers Cave Community Center on Nov. 20 to hear Dr. Joe Bouton ask, “What alkaloid levels are you willing to live with?”
It’s not a question commonly asked by farmers today, but Bouton hopes that in the future, testing for alkaloid levels will be as common as measuring forage for nutrients, protein and NDF.
Alkaloids are naturally occurring compounds produced by fungi, bacteria, plants and animals. Alkaloids can have medicinal properties. Morphine, caffeine and ephedrine are alkaloids. Some alkaloids are toxic to other organisms — for example, nicotine. Tobacco dust is an effective pesticide, if not used today as widely as it once was. [Read more…]