Chemical composition and digestibility of sugarcane harvested at two periods of the year
Keywords:Fiber, Lignin, Saccharum officinarum, Stems, Sugar
AbstractThe objectives of this study were to evaluate the effect of time of harvest on chemical composition and in vitro digestibility of sugarcane genotypes, to compare chemical composition and in vitro digestibility of the stem and leaf fractions, and to determine possible correlations between chemical composition and in vitro digestibility of the whole plant in sugarcane genotypes. Nine genotypes were harvested in May and September of 2006. In May, only the whole-plant fraction was analyzed, in September the genotypes were separated in stems, leaves or whole-plant for determination of chemical composition, sucrose (POL) and in vitro digestibility. Stems had lower neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and lignin in the DM, and greater in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) than leaves. However, stems had lower in vitro NDF digestibility (IVNDFD), higher lignin in the NDF and lower crude protein (CP). The NDF and IVNDFD were reduced with advanced maturity, while IVDMD, POL and lignin were increased. IVDMD was negatively correlated with NDF and NDF/POL, however there was no correlation between IVFDND and NDF or NDF/POL. It can be concluded that with the advance in maturity the IVNDFD was reduced and IVDMD was increased, and there was no genetic correlation between accumulation of sugar and in vitro fiber digestibility. Data from this study indicate that it is not expected that selection of genotypes with greater stem IVNDFD would alter the sugar content of the plant.
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