Forages typically vary in chemical composition due to many factors, including physiological maturity at harvest, harvest methods, plant variety, soil fertility, storage conditions and weather conditions. Because of this variability, it is important to analyze forages for chemical composition prior to formulating diets, say Ed DePeters and Jennifer Heguy with the University of California. DePeters is with the Department of Animal Science and Heguy is with the University of California Cooperative Extension in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.

In an article in the March 2013 California Dairy Newsletter, DePeters and Heguy take a close look at the fiber component of a forage analysis, specifically fiber digestibility. They discuss:

  • Measures of fiber: NDF and ADF
  • Predicting forage quality from fiber
  • What NDFd is, how it’s measured and why it’s important

Read more in “The ABC’s of Forage Analysis – Fiber & Digestibility” in the March 2013 California Dairy Newsletter.