Abstract #64

# 64
Evaluation of forage quality of five grains for use in sprouted fodder production systems for organic dairy cattle.
Bradley J. Heins*1, James C. Paulson2, Hugh Chester-Jones3, 1University of Minnesota, West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris, MN, 2University of Minnesota Extension, Rochester, MN, 3University of Minnesota, Southern Research and Outreach Center, Waseca, MN.

The objective of the study was to evaluate 5 grains for use in sprouted fodder productions systems at the University of Minnesota’s West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris, MN. Forage mass, mold score, dry matter, and forage quality were evaluated for varieties of sprouted organic barley, oats, wheat, rye, and triticale harvested at 7 d after the start of sprouting. During September 2014, on every Monday for 6 weeks, 28 fodder trays (0.6 m x 1.8 m) from a FarmTek Fodder Pro system were filled with 4.1 kg of pre-soaked grain, which was soaked for 24 h. Each tray was automatically watered 3 times a day for 4 min each time. On the seventh day, each tray was harvested, weighed, and visually scored on a 1 to 5 scale for mold by one observer. Ten random samples from each sprouted grain each week were saved for dry matter and forage quality analysis. Sprouted forage samples were sent to Rock River Laboratory, Inc., Watertown, Wisconsin, and were analyzed by wet chemistry for DM, CP, NDF, and TDN. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS. Independent variables for analyses were the fixed effects sprouted grain, and date of harvest and replicate were random effects. Sprouted barley (9.3 kg), oats (9.0 kg), and wheat (8.8 kg) had greater (P < 0.05) forage mass per tray than sprouted rye (7.8 kg) and triticale (6.3 kg). Mold scores were lower (P < 0.05) for sprouted barley (0.04) and oats (0.03) compared with sprouted rye (2.8) and triticale (4.8). Sprouted barley DM (15.4%) was lower (P < 0.05) than sprouted oat (19.1%), rye (19.8%), triticale (24.2%), and wheat (18.9%) DM. Concentrations of CP averaged 15.6%, 13.1%, 12.8%, 17.0%, and 17.9% for sprouted barley, oats, rye, triticale, and wheat, respectively, and they were different (P < 0.05) from each other. The NDF was greater (P < 0.05) for sprouted barley and oats (34.4% and 44.8%, respectively) compared with sprouted rye, triticale, and wheat (23.6%, 20.4%, and 26.7%, respectively). Sprouted triticale (79.7%) had higher TDN than sprouted oats (71.8%), which was the lowest for TDN. In summary, the results show that sprouted barley has the highest forage quality for fodder production systems.

Key Words: sprouted fodder, NDF, forage quality