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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: New Applications of Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy for Forage Quality Assessment

Author
item Coleman, Samuel

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2005
Publication Date: June 1, 2005
Citation: Coleman, S.W. 2005. New applications of near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy for forage quality assessment [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. 83(1):p.238.Paper No. 385.

Technical Abstract: Near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) has now been used in agriculture, specifically for forage quality analysis, for about 30 years. Due to its speed, many new applications have been developed, including medicine and pharmaceuticals. It is a secondary technique that requires proper calibration with samples that adequately represent the population for which it is to be used. In agriculture, NIRS was first used to estimate moisture and oil in seeds. In 1976, crude protein, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, in vitro dry (or organic) matter digestibility, in vivo apparent digestibility and in vivo intake were all estimated by NIRS. Routine use of the NIRS over the next 25 years involved estimating chemical composition, which in turn was used to predict intake and in vivo digestibility. Several databases have now been developed in Europe and Australia in which NIRS was used to directly predict in vivo digestibility with acceptable accuracy and precision. Intake has been a bit more problematic due to non-forage factors that influence ad libitum intake. However, research demonstrates that NIRS contains the necessary information to predict potential intake. Routine use now includes prediction of in vitro cell wall digestibility with acceptable accuracy and precision. Intake has been a bit more problematic due to non-forage factors that influence ad libitum intake. However, research demonstrates that NIRS contains the necessary information to predict potential intake. Routine use now includes prediction of in vitro cell wall digestibility and intake. Analysis of fecal samples for direct prediction of both intake and digestibility have been successful within the limits of the calibration database. The most recent application includes in situ analysis of forage quality with hand held units. This negates the necessity of clipping, drying and grinding pasture samples. Another advantage is non-destructive monitoring the processes of maturation of the same canopy. The method was applied to a grazing trial, and supplementation was recommended from analyses obtained in situ. Calves supplemented based on remote sensed data for crude protein gained more rapidly than those supplemented based on standard, time based management.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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