Dairy nutritionists have long known that forages with the same laboratory analysis could produce significantly different performance in lactating cows. Neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFD) may explain much of this variation. The objectives of the study described here were to demonstrate NDFD variation between varieties of ryegrass and season of harvest and to use this information as the basis for an educational Extension program. Large differences in NDFD were found among 11 varieties of ryegrass. This information was used to change the way livestock rations are balanced and it is hoped will convince grass seeds companies to focus more on fiber digestibility.

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