A comparison of the nutritive value of alfalfa hay with brome grass and reed canary grass hays at various levels of nitrogen fertilization

Barth, K.M.; Noot, G.W.V.nder; Cason, J.L.

Jour Nutrition 68(3): 383-392


DOI: 10.1093/jn/68.3.383
Accession: 013929747

Download citation:  

Article/Abstract emailed within 0-6 h
Payments are secure & encrypted
Powered by Stripe
Powered by PayPal

Brome grass hays grown with 25, 125, and 225 lb. N/acre, and reed canary grass hays grown with O, 100, and 200 lb. N/acre, were compared to alfalfa hay in 2 total collection digestion trials using 4 lambs each, to determine the effect of N fertilization on the digestibility of the hays. Both total digestible nutrients (TDN) and digestible energy (DE) were determined and compared as to their quantitative relationship. Increasing N fertilization caused an increase in protein content from 7.9 to 15.2% in brome grass hays and from 12.6 to 20.1% in reed canary grass hays. At higher levels of N fertilization on brome grass there was also an increase in gross energy and ether extract content while the fiber and N-free extract decreased. No similar trend of the crude components was observed with reed canary grasses, which may be due to the several variables encountered in the production of these hays. A statistically significant increase of apparent digestibility of protein with increasing N fertilization was observed with both grass species. Energy digestion coefficients are also increased at the higher levels of fertilization in the case of brome grass. These differences were less marked and not significant between all levels. The fiber digestion coefficients of all grass hays were considerably higher than those of alfalfa hay. The correlation coefficients between TDN and DE were + 0.95 for the brome grass trial + 0.87 for the reed canary grass trial and significant at the 1% level of probability. This indicated the close relationship of the 2 methods of feed evaluation. Regression equations between TDN and DE were Y758.72 + 32.98 X for the reed canary grass trial, where Y is DE in Calories per gram and X is the TDN percentage of the hay.