Ecologically Friendly Approaches for Quality Evaluation of Herbaceous Forages in Bulgaria

I. KRACHUNOV, T. JELIAZKOV and A. KIRILOV
Research Forage Institute, BG-5800 Pleven, Bulgaria

Abstract

KRACHUNOV, I., T. JELIAZKOV and A. KIRILOV, 2001. Ecologically friendly approaches for quality evaluation of herbaceous forages in Bulgaria. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 7: 57-66

The progress achieved in Bulgaria during the last decade in development of ecological methods for quality evaluation of forages for ruminants is examined in brief in the paper. Possibilities for easy and quick prediction of composition, digestibility and energy feeding value of herbaceous forages by regression equations in which sward age, meteorological and morphological data are used as independent variables, are shown. An approach for prediction of energy feeding value by the use of constants and variables well founded from the point of view of digestion physiology is briefly presented. Some applications of the method of near infrared reflectance spectroscopy in forage quality evaluation are demonstrated.
The conclusion is drown that in the future it is advisable to adapt the diversity of rapid methods to quality evaluation of the main forage species in Bulgaria with view a to build a scientifically founded system of laboratories in the country for an efficient control of forage quality for ruminants.

Key words: forage quality, prediction, chemical composition, in vitro digestibility, energy feeding value, voluntary intake, NIRS