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Title: Wheat Forages Contain Variable Levels of Condensed Tannin Reactive Substances

item Mackown, Charles

Submitted to: CSA News
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2008
Publication Date: 12/20/2008
Citation: Mackown, C.T., Carver, B. F., Ewards, J. 2008. Wheat Forages Contain Variable Levels of Condensed Tannin Reactive Substances. CSA News 53 (12):8. (Popular Press)

Interpretive Summary: News article is described in the Abstract.

Technical Abstract: Even though winter wheat pasture in the southern Great Plains is considered excellent forage, devastating losses of stocker cattle can occur due to pasture bloat. Tannins are known to reduce the incidence and severity of bloat. We examined tannins in adapted wheat varieties that are commonly grazed and a set of 221 diverse breeding lines. This allowed us to evaluate the feasibility of using conventional breeding methods to give producers improved wheat varieties with high tannin to reduce the incidence of bloat. Tannin reactive substances (phenolic acids and condensed tannins) were detected in extracts from adapted varieties and experimental lines. Differences in phenolic acids among the experimental lines were significant (range, 14.8-32.8 mg/g dry weight); those of condensed tannin were not (range 1.46-4.82 mg/g dry weight). While we observed marked differences in tannin substances among the experimentals, even the greatest amounts detected are unlikely sufficient to render the forage bloat-safe. Perhaps those experimental lines with the most abundant tannin levels could be used in a traditional breeding program to increase the level of tannins in wheat forage. These results will be useful to wheat breeders seeking to develop varieties better suited for use in the southern Great Plains.