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Nonstructural carbohydrates in tall fescue cultivars: Relationship to animal preference

Carbohidratos No Estructurales en Cultivares de Zacates Altos:La Relación con la Preferencia Animal

Mayland, Henry F. and Shewmaker, Glenn E. and Harrison, Philip A. and Chatterton, N. Jerry (2000) Nonstructural carbohydrates in tall fescue cultivars: Relationship to animal preference. Agronomy Journal. 92:1203-1206.


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Grazing animals prefer some plants to others. These choices are likely related to physical and chemical factors such as energy-dense carbohydrates contained in plants. This study quantified the nonstructural carbohydrate fractions in each of eight vegetatively growing, endophyte-free, tall fescue cultivars (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) and relates their sugar concentrations to cattle grazing preferences. The experimental area consisted of eight cultivar plots replicated three times in each of three pastures. Within each pasture, forage was sampled between 0830 and 1000 h mountain daylight time (MDT) during each of four seasons and 2 yr. Freeze-dried forage samples were extracted with hot water and an amylase (Clarase) solution. Sugars were quantified colorimetrically using potassium-ferricyanide and glucose-oxidase methods. Cattle grazing preferences among these tall fescue cultivars were related to the concentrations of total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC) (r2 = 0.49, P < 0.05). Other sugar fractions were not significantly related to grazing preference in this study. The nonstructural carbohydrate concentrations averaged over the entire study were glucose, 14; fructose, 5; sucrose, 40; fructan, 23; insoluble starch, 24; and TNC, 129 g kg-1. A forage selection criterion should include measures of the TNC because of their close relationship to animal grazing preference.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1025
Subjects: Animal > Feed preference
Irrigated crops > Grass forage > Chemistry
Irrigated crops > Grass forage > Animal preference
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:50
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2016 19:01
Item ID: 113

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