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Evaluating crude protein concentration of leucaena forage and the dietary legume content selected by cattle grazing leucaena and C4 grasses in northern Australia

Hopkins, K., Bowen, M., Dixon, R. and Reid, D. (2019) Evaluating crude protein concentration of leucaena forage and the dietary legume content selected by cattle grazing leucaena and C4 grasses in northern Australia. Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales, 7 (2). pp. 189-192. ISSN 23463775 (ISSN)

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Article Link(s): https://doi.org/10.17138/TGFT(7)189-192

Abstract

In Australia's central and southern Queensland regions, Leucaena leucocephala-grass pastures produce substantially more beef and higher profits than grass-only pastures and annual forage crops. Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) provides a rapid and cost-effective approach to assessing quality of available forage as well as the quality of the diet selected by cattle, but existing calibrations have not been comprehensively validated for leucaena-grass pastures. This study examined the reliability of existing northern Australian calibrations for NIRS to predict the crude protein (CP) concentration of the edible fraction of the leucaena plant, and the proportion of leucaena in the diet of grazing cattle. Samples of edible leucaena and cattle feces were analyzed by NIRS and the predictions plotted in a linear regression and fitted to a 1:1 line with Dumas analysis of CP for leucaena forage, and mass spectrometry of δ13C for cattle feces. Results demonstrated that prediction of the CP concentration of leucaena forage and the proportion of leucaena in the diet of grazing cattle using current broad northern Australian NIRS forage calibrations were associated with substantial error. However, it is likely that these errors can be reduced with the inclusion in the calibration data set of more samples representing leucaena forage and feces of cattle grazing leucaena from varying locations, seasonal conditions and management strategies. © 2019.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:Diet quality Forage quality Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy Tree legumes Tropical pastures
Subjects:Animal culture > Cattle
Animal culture > Rangelands. Range management. Grazing
Animal culture > Feeds and feeding. Animal nutrition
Deposited On:28 Apr 2020 02:32
Last Modified:28 Apr 2020 02:32

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