Evaluation of feeds from tropical origin for in vitro methane production potential and rumen fermentation in vitro

Kaushik Pal, Amlan K. Patra, Artabandhu Sahoo


Enteric methane arising due to fermentation of feeds in the rumen contributes substantially to the greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, like evaluation of chemical composition and nutritive values of feeds, methane production potential of each feed should be determined. This experiment was conducted to evaluate several feeds for methane production potential and rumen fermentation using in vitro gas production technique so that low methane producing feeds could be utilized to feed ruminants. Protein- and energy-rich concentrates (n=11), cereal and grass forages (n=11), and different straws and shrubs (n=12), which are commonly fed to ruminants in India, were collected from a number of locations. Gas production kinetics, methane production, degradability and rumen fermentation greatly varied (p<0.01) among feeds depending upon the chemical composition. Methane production (mL/g of degraded organic matter) was lower (p<0.01) for concentrate than forages, and straws and shrubs. Among shrubs and straws, methane production was lower (p<0.01) for shrubs than straws. Methane production was correlated (p<0.05) with concentrations of crude protein (CP), ether extract and non-fibrous carbohydrate (NFC) negatively, and with neutral detergent (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) positively. Potential gas production was negatively correlated (p=0.04) with ADF, but positively (p<0.01) with NFC content. Rate of gas production and ammonia concentration were influenced by CP content positively (p<0.05), but by NDF and ADF negatively (p<0.05). Total volatile fatty acid concentration and organic matter degradability were correlated (p<0.05) positively with CP and NFC content, but negatively with NDF and ADF content. The results suggest that incorporation of concentrates and shrubs replacing straws and forages in the diets of ruminants may decrease methane production.


degradability; tropical feeds; in vitro gas production

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2015133-7467