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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Cell wall chemical characteristics of whole-crop cereal silages harvested at three maturity stages

Wallsten, Johanna; Hatfield, Ronald


BACKGROUND: In cooler climates such as found in Scandinavian countries cereals are important feedstuffs for ruminants often ensiled as whole-crop cereal silages (WCCS) to preserve nutrients. Animal performance varies with the type of cereal forage and stage of cereal development being ensiled. Cell wall isolation and analysis was undertaken to determine differences among cereal silages harvested at different stages of maturity.RESULTS: A set of 27 WCCS samples of barley, wheat and oats harvested at heading, early milk, and dough stages of maturity were analyzed for cell wall (CW) composition and compared to previous NDF analyses. Total CW concentrations of the WCCS were higher than the NDF concentration. The lignin concentration was higher (P < 0.001) in oats (111 g kg(-1) DM) than in barley (88 g kg(-1) DM) and wheat (91 g kg(-1) DM). Ferulates (ester and ether linked) ranged from 12.2 to 14.9 g kg(-1) across forage types and maturity stages. The correlation between total cell wall xylose and HC concentrations (NDF-ADF) was lower than expected in all forages (R = 0.63).CONCLUSION: The more comprehensive analyses of cell walls provide detailed composition of the different WCCS that vary due to the maturity and type of cereal. (C) 2016 The Authors. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.


cereal crops; silages; oat; barley; wheat; cell walls; digestibility; lignin; structural carbohydrates

Published in

Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
2016, Volume: 96, number: 10, pages: 3604-3612
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science

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