In vitro ammonia release of urea-treated high moisture barley and maize grain
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University of Udine, Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Sciences, 33100 Udine, Italy
Publication date: 2018-05-30
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M. Spanghero   

University of Udine, Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Sciences, 33100 Udine, Italy
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2018;27(2):173-178
Rumen nitrogen (N) release from ammoniated wet barley and maize kernels by urea treatment (UT) at harvesting was studied. Untreated samples (CTR) were compared to UT and to samples combined with urea just before the experiment (UA). In Experiment 1, ground CTR, UT and UA samples were fermented in a ruminal in vitro system, and ammonia of fermentation fluid was analysed at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 h. The effect of incubation time was observed as ammonia peaked at 4 h of fermentation (10.24 vs 9.01 and 7.20 mg · dl−1, respectively at 0 and 8 h, P < 0.01). Also, the effect of treatment was stated when UT released less ammonia than UA treatment (9.76 vs 10.52 mg · dl−1, P < 0.05), while the CTR samples showed the least ammonia N concentrations (P < 0.01). In Experiment 2, the water N solubility of CTR and UT of both cereal samples prepared in three physical forms (whole grain, coarsely ground and milled) was examined. Samples were incubated in flasks with distilled water for 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 h and N was measured in filtered residues to calculate N solubility. The UT samples, regardless cereal type, solubilised more N in the milled than in the whole form with the coarse form in the middle (43.7 vs 15.3%, 32.4 vs 14.0% and 20.3 vs 9.2% for milled, coarse and whole form, respectively; treatment × physical form interaction: P < 0.01). The N added to wet cereal kernels by the urea treatment was released in the rumen fermentation liquid more slowly than that simply added as urea before incubation. Based on solubility data, the treated whole or cracked kernels exhibited a slower N release than milled ones.
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