Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Nutritive value of grassland plants: contents of cell wall constituents

“The main constituents of the cell wall, e.g. crude fiber, ADF, NDF and lignin, were analysed in 10 important varieties of grassland plants. The results of 555 analysed samples give a better knowledge of  the changes with regard to the content of cell wall constituents during the growing season. Within the same plant variety and depending on the age and the stage of development, the content of all 4 cell wall constituents changed in a similar way. The relation between the content of those constituents and the age as well as the stage of development is stronger during the first growth than during the subsequent growths. During the first growth and within the group of grasses, meadow foxtail has the highest content of cell wall constituents, whereas cocksfoot with the age has the fastest increase of that content. Within the group of legumes, we noticed the highest content and its biggest increase with lucerne. The comparison of the changes in the crude fiber content in relation to the stage of development shows a reasonable similarity with the values in the “”Swiss Green Book””. The disadvantage of the “”Green Book”” is that it does not make any difference between ist growth and regrowths.”

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