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Effect of maturity at harvest on in vitro methane production from ensiled grass

Holtshausen, L., Liestøl, S.H.O., Nes, S.K., Beauchemin, K.A., Harstad, O.M., McAllister, T.A. (2012). Effect of maturity at harvest on in vitro methane production from ensiled grass, 62(1), 40-45. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09064702.2012.671846

Abstract

Controlling the time of harvest to affect grass maturity for silage was evaluated as a methane (CH4) mitigation strategy in a batch culture in vitro with ruminal fluid as inoculum and silage from a mixed timothy (Phleum pretense)-meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis) stand. The stand was cut in May (early maturity [EM]; first cutting), June (late maturity [LM]; first cutting), and August (mid-maturity [MM]; third cutting). Disappearance of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) (EM: 0.58; MM: 0.50; LM: 0.45) and ADF (EM: 0.57; MM: 0.49; LM: 0.45) after 48 h was greater for EM compared to MM and LM, with no difference between the latter two. With advancing maturity, total gas (EM: 166.6; MM: 149.7; LM: 119.3 mL), CH4 production (EM: 21.4; MM: 17.6; LM: 14.8 mL), and methane production per g NDF digested decreased at 48 h (EM: 120; MM: 92; LM: 74 mL/g NDF digested). Ensiling less mature grass resulted in more CH4 per unit of NDF digested. © 2012 Copyright Crown Copyright.

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