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See detailFertilization Effects on the Chemical Composition and In Vitro Organic Matter Digestibility of Semi-natural Meadows as Predicted by NIR Spectrometry
Dale, Laura ULg; Thewis, André ULg; Rotar, Ioan et al

in Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca (2013), 41(1), 42-48

Management of livestock grazing in highly-productive mountain meadows is an important aspect for the economic viability and the environmental impact of a grassland-based farm. The main aim of this study ... [more ▼]

Management of livestock grazing in highly-productive mountain meadows is an important aspect for the economic viability and the environmental impact of a grassland-based farm. The main aim of this study was to build near infrared models to determine the chemical composition and in vitro organic matter digestibility of Romanian meadow forages. The treatments were organic and mineral fertilizer combinations, and forage samples were obtained from three fertilization experiments conducted in the Apuseni Mountains; these samples were analysed using classical and NIR methods. The samples were scanned in the NIR wavelength band. The CRA-W Gembloux ‘local’ calibration models were validated with Romanian meadow forages and then used in order to predict the forage quality of samples. A second objective of the study was to determine the effects of fertilization on forage quality. The results showed a decrease in crude protein content from the NPK treatment (150:75:75), which can be explained by a reduction of Fabaceae plants with this treatment from 17.25% of the populations in the control (semi-natural meadow not fertilized) to 6.25% in the fertilized plots. The decrease in protein content and in vitro organic matter digestibility was related to a reduced Fabaceae presence. Our recommendation is to use mineral fertilization with NPK doses less than 100:50:50 to improve meadow productivity; meanwhile organic fertilization can also be used to complement and maintain biodiversity and forage quality. [less ▲]

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See detailDetermination of Romanian alfalfa crude protein and crude fiber contents as well as in vitro organic matter digestibility by NIR spectrometry
Dale, Laura ULg; Thewis, André ULg; Rotar, Ioan et al

in Scientific Papers. Series D, Animal Science (2012, October 04)

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a high quality forage which has been used worldwide. The superiority of alfalfa lies in its high yield, high protein content and high digestibility. The aim of this study ... [more ▼]

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a high quality forage which has been used worldwide. The superiority of alfalfa lies in its high yield, high protein content and high digestibility. The aim of this study was to develop a simple, fast and non-destructive method, named Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) to determinate alfalfa quality. To realize this study, alfalfa samples were obtained from Mănăştur Experimental Station – Farm Cojocna in 2008–2009, in one experiment carried out using randomization blocks design with two experimental factors (mineral fertilization and period of harvest). Alfalfa quality was first determinated on 48 samples by classical analyses: crude protein CP (AOAC, 1990), crude fiber CF (Fiber Cap, FOSS, DK) and in vitro organic matter digestibility OMDrt (DeBoever, 1986). Then the samples were scanned by NIRS. Calibration models were performed by PerkinElmer Spectrum Quant + 4.21 program (USA) on the 48 samples determinated by classical analysis. The results showed fully confirmed by acceptable coefficients of determination and standard error of cross-validation (R2=0.96 for CP, 0.94 for CF, 0.98 for OMDrt and SECV=0.77 for CP, 1.35 for CF, 1.13 for OMDrt). Successful results for prediction of other 176 alfalfa samples were then obtained using these calibration models: SEP=0.869 for CP, 1.058 for CF, 1.058 for OMDrt). The highest CP and OMDrt values of alfalfa were obtained in bud stage (22.0% and 66.0% respectively). While for CF, the highest content was registered in the seed formation stage (46.0%). The NIRS technique offers us the possibility to determinate rapidly and easily Romanian alfalfa important parameters, but the system could also be used for the determination of other constituents. [less ▲]

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See detailResearch on crude protein and digestibility of Arnica montana L. using conventional NIR spectrometry and hyperspectral imaging NIR
Dale, Laura ULg; Fernandez, Juan Antonio; Vermeulen, Philippe et al

in Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment (2012), 10(1), 391-396

Arnica montana L. (AM) is considered a medicinal plant, used as hay in feed ration. The aim of this study is to assess the prediction of protein content and in vitro organic matter digestibility value in ... [more ▼]

Arnica montana L. (AM) is considered a medicinal plant, used as hay in feed ration. The aim of this study is to assess the prediction of protein content and in vitro organic matter digestibility value in grass mixtures containing Arnica montana L., and in a second step to check if these values have a positive or negative influence in the mixtures. Crude protein has been selected because it is one of the most important quality parameters of forages as nutritional element used in animal feeding. The protein is required on a daily basis for maintenance, lactation, growth and reproduction, but is important for agriculture too, because a high content of protein makes it an important source of feed. The digestibility is also important, because it refers to the extent to which a feedstuff is absorbed in the animal body as it passes through an animal’s digestive tract. In this study, the Weende system (the Kjeldahl method) for the protein content, together with the enzymatic technique for digestibility, was applied and used in combination with non-destructive methods, like those based on the Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) or the Near Infrared Hyperspectral Imaging. Based on NIR imaging system data, the PLS-DA was used to discriminate between the classes with AM and classes without AM, as well as to build a model that could be used to predict the composition of mixtures. More than 99% correct prediction for AM was obtained. The crude protein content of the hay determined by classical method decrease from the type of meadow Agrostis capillaris L. - Festuca rubra L. (15.22%) until to the pure sample of Arnica montana L. (11.19%); however, the digestibility was highest in the pure sample of Arnica montana L. (84.13%) and lowest in samples from the type of meadow Agrostis capillaris L. - Festuca rubra L. (57.18%) or in samples with the participation of Arnica montana L. This study should lead to a more important point, which is to verify whether the medicinal properties of Arnica montana L. can be transferred or not to milk production through the dairy cow feed. [less ▲]

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