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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci. 2017 Mar;30(3):355-362. doi: 10.5713/ajas.16.0626. Epub 2016 Nov 24.

Evaluation of the nutritional value of locally produced forage in Korea using chemical analysis and in vitro ruminal fermentation.

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National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration, Cheonan 330-801, Korea.
Division of Animal and Dairy Sciences, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764, Korea.



The use of locally produced forage (LPF) in cattle production has economic and environmental advantages over imported forage. The objective of this study was to characterize the nutritional value of LPF commonly used in Korea. Differences in ruminal fermentation characteristics were also examined for the LPF species commonly produced from two major production regions: Chungcheong and Jeolla.


Ten LPF (five from each of the two regions) and six of the most widely used imported forages originating from North America were obtained at least three times throughout a year. Each forage species was pooled and analyzed for nutrient content using detailed chemical analysis. Ruminal fermentation characteristics were also determined by in vitro anaerobic incubations using strained rumen fluid for 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h. At each incubation time, total gas, pH, ammonia, volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations, and neutral detergent fiber digestibility were measured. By fitting an exponential model, gas production kinetics were obtained.


Significant differences were found in the non-fiber carbohydrate (NFC) content among the forage species and the regions (p<0.01). No nutrient, other than NFC, showed significant differences among the regions. Crude protein, NFC, and acid detergent lignin significantly differed by forage species. The amount of acid detergent insoluble protein tended to differ among the forages. The forages produced in Chungcheong had a higher amount of NFC than that in Jeolla (p<0.05). There were differences in ruminal fermentation of LPF between the two regions and interactions between regions and forage species were also significant (p<0.05). The pH following a 48-h ruminal fermentation was lower in the forages from Chungcheong than from Jeolla (p<0.01), and total VFA concentration was higher in Chungcheong than in Jeolla (p = 0.05). This implies that fermentation was more active with the forages from Chungcheong than from Jeolla. Analysis of gas production profiles showed the rate of fermentation differed among forage species (p<0.05).


The results of the present study showed that the nutritional values of some LPF (i.e., corn silage and Italian ryegrass) are comparable to those of imported forages widely used in Korea. This study also indicated that the nutritional value of LPF differs by origin, as well as by forage species. Detailed analyses of nutrient composition and digestion kinetics of LPF should be routinely employed to evaluate the correct nutritional value of LPF and to increase their use in the field.


Digestion Kinetics; In vitro Ruminal Fermentation; Locally Produced Forage; Nutrient Analysis; Ruminant

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