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Whole crop cereals 1. Effect of method of harvest and preservation on chemical composition, apparent digestibility and energy value

Givens, D. I., Humphries, D. J., Kliem, K. E., Kirton, P. and Deaville, E. R. (2009) Whole crop cereals 1. Effect of method of harvest and preservation on chemical composition, apparent digestibility and energy value. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 149 (1-2). pp. 102-113. ISSN 0377-8401

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2008.05.007


A total of 133 samples (53 fermented unprocessed, 19 fermented processed. 62 urea-treated processed) of whole crop wheat (WCW) and 16 samples (five fermented unprocessed, six fermented processed, five urea-treated processed) of whole crop barley (WCB) were collected from commercial farms over two consecutive years (2003/2004 and 2004/2005). Disruption of the maize grains to increase starch availability was achieved at the point of harvest by processors fitted to the forage harvesters. All samples were subjected to laboratory analysis whilst 50 of the samples (24 front Year 1, 26 front Year 2 all WCW except four WCB in Year 2) were subjected to in vivo digestibility and energy value measurements using mature wether sheep. Urea-treated WCW had higher (P<0.05) pH, and dry matter (DM) and crude protein contents and lower concentrations of fermentation products than fermented WCW. Starch was generally lower in fermented, unprocessed WCW and no effect of crop maturity at harvest (as indicated by DM content) on starch concentrations was seen. Urea-treated WCW had higher (P<0.05) in vivo digestible organic matter contents in the DM (DOMD) in Year 1 although this was not recorded in Year 2. There was a close relationship between the digestibility values of organic matter and gross energy thus aiding the use of DOMD to predict metabolisable energy (ME) content. A wide range of ME values was observed (WCW. 8.7-11.8 MJ/kg DM; WCB 7.9-11.2 MJ/kg DM) with the overall ME/DOMD ratio (ME = 0.0156 DOMD) in line With Studies in other forages. There was no evidence that a separate ME/DOMD relationship was needed for WCB which is helpful for practical application. This ratio and other parameters were affected by year of harvest (P<0.05) highlighting the influence of environmental and Other undefined factors. The variability in the composition and nutritive value of WCW and WCB highlights the need for reliable and accurate evaluation methods to be available to assess the Value of these forages before they are included in diets for dairy cows. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:8572
Uncontrolled Keywords:Whole crop wheat, Forage conservation, Chemical composition, Digestibility, Energy value, lactating dairy-cows, grass-silage, wheat, urea, performance, prediction, ruminants, straw

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