How is forage quality determined?

How is forage quality determined?

The detergent feed analysis system is used to characterize fiber or total cell wall content of a forage or feed. For legume forages, NDF content below 40% would be considered good quality, while above 50% would be considered poor. For grass forages, NDF < 50% would be considered high quality and > 60% as low quality.

Why is forage quality important?

The higher the content and digestibility of the nutrients, the higher the quality of the forage. Forage quality has also been shown to have an effect on dry matter consumption, especially when low-quality forages are being fed.

What is the main difference between forage nutritive value and forage quality?

However, forage nutritive value typically refers to concentration of available energy (total digestible nutrients, or TDN) and concentration of crude protein. By contrast, forage quality is a broader term that not only includes nutritive value, but also forage intake.

What is fodder quality?

1 Fodder Quality of Maize. Desirable forage characteristics include high dry matter yield, high protein concentration, high energy concentration (high digestibility), high intake potential (low fibre content), and optimum dry matter concentration at harvest for acceptable forage fermentation (Carter et al. 1991).

Which forage is in the highest quality?

Legumes generally produce higher quality forage than grasses. This is because legumes usually have less fiber and favor higher intake than grasses.

How do you improve forage quality?

Something as simple as reducing the shade on a field can improve the sugar content of your forage. Additional environmental factors that must also be considered when increasing sugar content are temperature and the availability of water and nutrients.

How can I improve my forage?

Some examples include increasing stocking rates, implementing rotational grazing or more timely hay harvesting. “If on the other hand, you are effectively using all that you grow, you should concentrate on maximizing per acre production,” Schwab said. The soil is the foundation of high quality forage production.

How plant maturity affect forage quality?

Forage quality is never static; plants continually change in forage quality as they mature (Figure 1). As plant cell wall content increases, indigestible lignin accumulates. In fact, forage plant maturity changes so rapidly that it is possible to measure significant declines in forage quality every two or three days.

What is forage production?

Forage crops are grown specifically for grazing by livestock or harvested to help make up seasonal shortfalls between feed demand and supply. They form a vital part of livestock production.

What is the difference between fodder and forage?

Fodder refers mostly the crops which are harvested and used for stall feeding. Forage may be defined as the vegetative matter, fresh or preserved, utilised as feed for animals. Forage crops include grasses, legumes, crucifers and other crops cultivated and used in the form of hay, pasture, fodder and silage.

What is the meaning of forage crops?

Forage crop. A crop of cultivated plants or plant parts, other than separated grain, produced to be grazed or harvested for use as feed for animals. Aftermath. Forage grown following a harvest.

What is the most important forage crop in the United States?

While the top crop in the country, corn, is valued at almost five times the value of alfalfa, it has over 10 times the research funding.

Which is the best definition of forage quality?

Forage quality is defined as the sum total of the plant constituents that influence an animal’s use of the feed.

Why do animals need a lot of forage?

Animals must consume adequate quantities of forage to perform well.Typically, the higher the palatability and forage quality, the higher the intake. ■DigestibilityHow much of the forage will be digested?

How does the quality of forage affect cattle performance?

Forage quality has a direct effect on animal performance, forage value, and, ultimately, on profits.The following graphs show the links between quality, performance, and returns. 1 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 endophyte-infected tall fescue Weight gain Stocker beef cattle gains from different forages, Alabama average daily gain (lb)

How much does it cost to test for forage quality?

The basic tests to evaluate forage quality described below can be determined by most laboratories at a cost between $12 and $30 depending upon methodology used (wet chemistry vs. NIR) and number of tests performed. Figure 1. Comparison of essential nutrients, feed chemical composition, and analytical testing procedures.