Fractionation of fiber and crude protein in fresh forages during the spring growth

J. C. Elizalde, N. R. Merchen, D. B. Faulkner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

The composition of the fiber and CP of alfalfa, bromegrass, and endophyte-free and -infected tall fescue forages was compared during the spring growth from vegetative to reproductive stages. Forages were sampled from April 27 to June 6 in 1994, and from April 27 to June 11 in 1995, with 11 and 12 harvest dates, respectively. Total dietary fiber (TDF) was fractionated into insoluble and soluble fiber (SF). The CP of the forages was fractionated into nonprotein N (A), soluble CP (B1), insoluble CP that was soluble in neutral detergent (B2), CP insoluble in neutral detergent but soluble in acid detergent (B3), and CP insoluble in acid detergent (C). Effects of year, forage species, and harvest dates (day as a covariable) were included in the model. Across harvest dates, alfalfa (A) had lower (P < .01) TDF and higher (P < .01) SF concentrations than grasses (GR) (A: 49.9 and 14.4% and GR: 60.4 and 4.5% [OM basis] for TDF and SF, respectively). Alfalfa had higher (P < .01) CP (20.6% DM) than GR (15.3%). The rate of decrease in CP (% DM) across days was higher (P < .01) for bromegrass (-.4%/d) than for the other forages (-.29%/d). Fraction A (% of CP) was not different (P = .24) among forages (22.5%), but B1 was higher (P < .01) in A (17.1%) than in GR (13.2%). The B2 fraction (% of CP) was higher (P < .01) in A compared with GR (51.6 vs 45.9%, respectively). Alfalfa had lower (P < .01) B3 (3.0% of CP) than bromegrass (18.6%) and tall fescue (13.2%). Fraction C was not different (P = .23) among forages (3.8%). Fractions A, B1, and C (% of CP) did not change (P > .05) across days for all forages. Fraction B2 (% of CP) decreased across days in A (-.21%/d) but was not affected in GR. Fraction B3 (% of CP) increased (P < .05) in A (.1%/d), decreased in endophyte-infected tall fescue (-.20%/d), and did not change (P > .05) in the other forages. Crude protein and fiber composition were affected more by forage species than by maturity. The CP and NDF concentrations were more affected by maturity. Insoluble fractions but not soluble fractions of CP were affected by maturity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-484
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1999

Keywords

  • Alfalfa
  • Bromus biebersteinii
  • Composition
  • Crude protein
  • Festuca arundinacea
  • Fiber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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