Submitted to: CSSA Special Publications
Publication Type: Review article
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Crude protein is routinely used to quantify protein concentration of forages. The protein concentration varies with forage species, plant part, plant maturity, and management practices. Protein degradation can be extensive when forages are consumed by ruminant animals and often results in inefficient use of forage protein. This occurs because ruminal microorganisms, which can both synthesize and degrade protein, degrade a larger amount than is synthesized; therefore, much forage protein is wasted. Recent advances in forage protein characterization will likely alter protein supplementation strategies. The apparent differences in ruminal degradation of forage proteins in cool- and warm-season grasses suggest that current protein supplementation approaches should be altered. Since response to supplemental protein in grazing ruminant is highly variable and species specific, protein supplementation requirements on pasture will become more sophisticated as plant protein composition and utilization becomes defined by species.