We use the terms “forge quality” and “nutritive value” or “feed values” interchangeably to express the potential value of forage. Recognizing the subtle difference between forage quality and nutrient value is not as important among producers as forage researchers. However, we need to notice the difference between forage quality and feed values to understand lab analysis reports. The analysis results distributed from the forage quality analysis labs are mostly based on nutrient value analysis.
As we heard from any forage class, the best measure of forage quality should be done based on the livestock productivity when fed corresponding forage. However, it is hard to achieve forage quality measurement for individual forage at each time due to high labor costs and long-time delays. Therefore, the laboratory measurement of available nutrient content in forage is substituting forage quality. With the many years of accumulating nutrient value data, nutrient value analysis provides much improved features of available nutrients in forage and potential livestock production.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture