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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Intensive Mechanical Forage Conditioning: Relationship to Increased Animal Production

Authors
item Kraus, Timothy
item Koegel, Richard
item Mertens, David
item Straub, Richard - UNIV OF WISCONSIN-MADISON
item Shinners, Kevin - UNIV OF WISCONSIN-MADISON

Submitted to: ASAE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 13, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: It is known that mechanically damaging (conditioning) the tissue of forage crops can increase their digestibility by cattle. In order to benefit by this phenomenon, however, it is necessary to relate levels of conditioning to increases in digestibility. This was done by sealing forage conditioned to various levels in porous dacron bags which were placed in the rumen (first stomach compartment) of cattle. The bags were removed periodically and changes in content weight measured. This technique made it possible to relate severity of conditioning to increases in digestibility. Knowing this relationship makes it possible to make recommendations on how severely to condition forage crops to achieve increased digestibility and to reduce production costs.

Technical Abstract: Alfalfa was conditioned to four different levels which were measured by the leachate conductivity method. Dry matter (DM) and NDF disappearance from polyester bags placed in the rumen of fistulated cattle for various lengths of time were measured. Both DM and NDF disappearance increased with level of conditioning. Based on analysis of data, instantly soluble DM increased and NDF disappearance lag time decreased with conditioning level.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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