About Forage and Nutrition

Why analyse forage?

Analysis of your forage material can provide a wealth of information on its nutritional quality. Knowing what the important parameters are and understanding what your forage analysis report is telling you are vital to make the most of that information in formulating feed diets to optimise livestock production while minimising adverse impacts on the environment, for example, by reducing greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions.

Forage is the most economic feed for ruminants, especially dairy cows.

Often diets will be formulated by nutritionists and advisers. Make sure to discuss in detail your forage results with your feed adviser.

It is recommended that your adviser is a member of the Feed Adviser Register  so you can be confident they are trained and experienced in devising the optimum diet that combines home-grown forage with bought-in feeds.



Important Nutritional Parameters


DM
Dry Matter A measure of the non-water content of the silage i.e. how wet or dry the silage is.
CP
Crude Protein The quantity of protein in the silage.
NDF
Neutral Detergent Fibre Comprises of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin and is required to promote rumen function.
ADF
Acid Detergent Fibre Comprises cellulose and lignin only.
Starch
A carbohydrate providing a primary energy source. Found in whole crop cereal and maize silages, not grass silage.
D value
Digestability Value A measure of digestibility of the forage.
ME
Metabolisable Energy The fraction of the total energy contained in a forage that is available to the animal when eaten.
pH
A measure of acidity of a silage. A low value could impair rumen function and a high value could indicate poor fermentation of the silage.
Ash
The mineral and trace element content of the silage. Further analysis can look for specific minerals.
NCGD
Neutral Cellulase Gammanase Digestibility Used to evaluate ruminant digestion.








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Dairy Herd Eating Silage
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Hay & Grain Stored Feed Components
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Forage Feed Mix
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Farm Feed Mixing Machine
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Sheep Feeding on Forage

Our Contact Details

FAA Group c/o Agricultural Industries Confederation
East of England Showground
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 6XE
+44 (0)1733-385230

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