Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



The Author(s) 2019


Transl. Anim. Sci. 2019.3:42–50 doi: 10.1093/tas/txz013


To determine the effect of harvest method and ammoniation on both in vivo and in vitro digestibility of corn residue, six corn residue treatments consisting of three different harvest methods either with or without anhydrous ammonia chemical treatment (5.5% of dry matter [DM]) were evaluated. The harvest methods included conventional rake-and-bale (CONV) and New Holland Cornrower with eight rows (8ROW) or two rows (2ROW) of corn stalks chopped into the windrow containing the tailings (leaf, husk, and upper stem) from eight rows of harvested corn (ammoniated bales of each harvest method resulted in treatments COVAM, 8RAM, and 2RAM). Nine crossbred wether lambs (49.2 ± 0.5 kg BW) were fed 64.2% corn residue, 29.8% wet corn gluten feed, 3.3% smooth-bromegrass hay, and 2.8% mineral mix (DM basis) in a 9 × 6 Latin rectangle metabolism study with a 3 × 2 factorial treatment to measure total tract disappearance. Six 21-d periods consisted of 14-d adaptation and 7-d total fecal collection, and lambs were fed ad libitum (110% of the previous day’s DM intake [DMI]) during days 1 to 12 and reduced to 95% of ad libitum intake for days 13 to 21. There was a harvest method by ammoniation interaction (P < 0.01) for ad libitum DMI (days 7 to 11). Ammoniation increased (P < 0.01) intake across all harvest methods, where 2RAM DMI was 4.1%, COVAM was 3.6%, and 8RAM was 3.1%, which were all different (P < 0.01) from each other, but all untreated residues were consumed at 2.6% of BW (P ≥ 0.92) regardless of harvest method. There were no interactions (P > 0.34) between harvest method and ammoniation for any total tract or in vitro digestibility estimate. Harvest method affected (P < 0.04) DM, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and acid detergent fiber (ADF) digestibility, where 2ROW was greater than both CONV and 8ROW, which did not differ. The organic matter (OM) digestibility (P = 0.12) and digestible energy (DE; P = 0.30) followed the same numerical trend. Both in vitro DM digestibility (IVDMD) and in vitro OM digestibility (IVOMD) of the residue were affected (P < 0.01) by harvest method, with 2ROW being greater (P < 0.01) than both CONV and 8ROW. For IVDMD, 8ROW was not (P = 0.77) different from CONV, but 8ROW IVOMD was lower (P = 0.03) than CONV. Ammoniation improved (P < 0.01) DM, OM, NDF, and ADF digestibility of all harvest methods, resulting in a 26% increase (P < 0.01) in DE due to ammoniation. Similar digestibility improvements were observed in vitro with ammoniation improving IVDMD and IVOMD by 23% and 20%, respectively. Both selective harvest methods and ammoniation can improve the feeding value of baled corn residue.