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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Plant Science Research » Research » Research Project #444119

Research Project: Evaluation of Methane Reduction Potential and Forage Quality on Conventional and Low-lignin Variants of Alfalfa and Corn Silage

Location: Plant Science Research

Project Number: 5062-21500-001-016-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2023
End Date: Mar 1, 2025

1. Compare the methane produced from in vitro fermentation and fragility of conventional and reduced-lignin varieties of alfalfa and corn silage with and without the addition of 3-Nitrooxypropanol. 2. Evaluate lactation rations formulated with isogenic and reduced-lignin alfalfa and corn silages in continuous culture for methane production, NDF digestibility, nitrogen utilization, and VFA production.

For Objective 1, in vitro batch culture fermentation will test the effects of forage type, forage variety, and 3-NOP inclusion. Plant material will be ensiled using PVC-style mini silos, then dried and ground. The material will then be added to the ANKOM RF gas production system, inoculated with rumen fluid, and fermented for 24 h. Total gas production and composition will be determined via gas chromatography. For Objective 2, ensiled forages will be incorporated into diets formulated to meet the needs of a lactating dairy cow and evaluated using continuous culture fermenters over four consecutive 10-day experimental periods. Fermenter contents and headspace will be sampled and analyzed. Total volatile fatty acid production, total nitrogen and ammonia- nitrogen, and chemical composition will be analyzed.