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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #364944

Research Project: Improving Nutrient Use Efficiency and Mitigating Nutrient and Pathogen Losses from Dairy Production Systems

Location: Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research

Title: Animal methods for evaluating forage quality

item VANZANT, ERIC - University Of Kentucky
item COCHRAN, ROBERT - Kansas State University
item Coblentz, Wayne

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/18/2019
Publication Date: 8/19/2020
Citation: Vanzant, E.S., Cochran, R.C., Coblentz, W.K. 2020. Animal methods for evaluating forage quality. Book Chapter. Pages 673-686.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Fundamentally, forage quality should be thought of as the ability of forages to support maintenance and production functions in livestock animals. Although forages contain constituents of all nutrient classes, their primary contribution to animal sustenance is through provision of nitrogenous components and energy. Therefore, the primary focus is on these components when describing forage quality. Numerous methods are available that employ animals in the assessment of forage quality. Some of these procedures provide information needed to address very specific goals, while some serve as useful contributors for accurately predicting nutritive value, or are simply viewed as relative indicators of nutritive value. In all cases it is helpful to remember that the fundamental goal in conducting any forage quality assay is to help define the ability of forage to support maintenance and productive functions in ruminants. Although this is most accurately represented at present by net energy values, a variety of other assays can also serve a useful role in pointing us toward our fundamental endpoint.