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The influence of rumen fluid pH on the rate and extent of maize silage and wheat straw degradation estimated in vitro using the Reading Pressure Technique

  • F.L. Mould (a1), R.M. Mauricio (a1), T. Smith (a1) and E. Owen (a1)


Fermentation of the increasingly energy-dense rations offered to meet the nutrient demands of today's high yielding dairy cows ought to adversely rumen fibre degradation. Not only could rumen fluid pH be depressed below that assumed critical to cellulolysis for extended periods of time but the quantity of readily fermentable carbohydrate available will further exacerbate this effect. These, together with the reduced rumen retention time of feed particles associated with high feeding levels could significantly limit fibre degradation. This in vitro study was designed to identify the pH at which degradation becomes impaired, the extent of this depression and whether the effect varies according to the feedstuffs offered.



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Grant, R.J. and Mertens, D.R. 1990. A buffer system for pH control and evaluation of pH effects upon fiber digestion in vitro. US Dairy Forage Research Centre 1989 Research Summaries. ARS-USDA, Madison, WI.
Mauricio, R.M., Mould, F.L., Dhanoa, M.S., Owen, E., Channa, K. S. and Theodorou, M.K. 1999. A semi-automated in vitro gas production technique for ruminant feedstuff evaluation. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 79: 321 330.


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