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The effect of freezing and thawing fresh grass silage on near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) predictions

  • R. S. Park (a1), R. E. Agnew (a1) and D. J. Kilpatrick (a1)


The accurate analysis of forage is paramount if the nutritive value to the ruminant animal is to be estimated. NIRS has the potential to accurately and rapidly evaluate the chemical and biological parameters of fresh silage. In many laboratory situations the pressure of proximate and specialized chemical analyses means that routinely, fresh forages have to be stored frozen (–20°C) before analysis. Research by MacRae et al., (1975) has shown that although the physico-chemical composition of high quality forages changed upon freezing and subsequent thawing there were no differences in the apparent digestibilities and total nitrogen remained relatively constant. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of freezing and thawing fresh silage on NIRS predictions.



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MacRae, J.C., Campbell, D. R. and Eadie, J. 1975. Changes in the biochemical composition of herbage upon freezing and thawing. Journal of Agricultural Science Cambridge. 84: 125131.
Park, R.S., Agnew, R.E. and Barnes, R. J. 1999. The development of near infrared reflectance spectroscopy calibrations for undried grass silage and their transfer to another instrument using multiple and single sample standardization. Journal of Near Infrared Spectroscopy. 7: 117131.


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