Submitted to: Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Series
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2007
Publication Date: 12/15/2007
Citation: Akins, M.S., Kegley, E.B., Gunsaulis, J.L., Coblentz, W.K., Lusby, K.S., Ogden, R.K., Caldwell, J.D., Bacon, R.K., Coffey, K.P. 2007. Nutritive value of fall-grown cereal-grain forages over time. Arkansas Animal Science Research Series 553. Arkansas Animal Science Department Report 2007. 10:73-77.
Technical Abstract: Changes in nutritive value of fall-grown cereal-grain forages can affect cattle performance. The objective of this study was to evaluate the nutritive value of various fall-grown cereal-grain forages over time. One variety each of hard red (HR) and soft red (SR) winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), rye (Secale cereale L.), and triticale (X Triticosecale rimpauiWittm.) were planted on September 8, 2004 in Fayetteville, and on September 5 and 6, 2005 in Fayetteville and Batesville, respectively. Forages were sampled on 6 dates at 2-wk intervals beginning 6 wk after planting. Forage x sample date interactions (P< 0.05) occurred during all site-years. Neutral detergent fiber (NDF) generally exhibited cubic effects of time, and was most affected by growth patterns of the forage. Oat had the greatest numerical increases in NDF due to winterkill and stem elongation. Concentrations of NDF for the other forages ranged from 32 to 45%. In vitro organic matter disappearance (IVOMD) was inversely related to NDF content of the forage; as NDF increased, IVOMD decreased. The IVOMD remained high for all forages, even after winterkill of the oat. On average, oat decreased in digestibility numerically by 6.6% after winterkill but was still 86.1% digestible. The N content decreased gradually in all years. The N content was adequate for good gains throughout the fall. Overall, the nutritive value of fall-grown cereal-grain forages did change, but not enough to greatly reduce animal production. Forage growth would be more likely to limit animal production.