Oxalate Accumulation in Forage Plants: Some Agronomic, Climatic and Genetic Aspects

  • Rahman, M.M. (Faculty of Agriculture, University of Miyazaki) ;
  • Kawamura, O. (Faculty of Agriculture, University of Miyazaki)
  • Received : 2010.06.07
  • Accepted : 2010.10.05
  • Published : 2011.03.01


Oxalic acid is synthesized by a wide range of plants. A few of them are forage plants that can cause oxalate poisoning in ruminants under certain conditions. In this paper, the role of some agronomic, climatic and genetic factors in minimizing oxalate accumulation in forage plants has been discussed. Research indicates that the content of oxalate in forage can be controlled by fertilizer application. For example, nitrate application resulted in higher contents of soluble and insoluble oxalates than ammonium application. With an increased rate of potassium application, soluble oxalate content showed an increasing trend and insoluble oxalate content showed a decreasing trend. With an increased rate of calcium application, soluble oxalate content showed a decreasing trend and insoluble oxalate content showed a reverse trend. Other agronomic factors such as growing season, harvesting practices, plant maturity, plant species, plant variety and plant parts can also have a large effect on oxalate accumulation. However, the potential benefits of the above approaches for improving forage quality have not been fully exploited. In addition, there is still insufficient information to fully utilize means (e.g. plant nutrients, season and soil moisture) to minimize oxalate accumulation in forage plants. Therefore, more research is required for a better understanding of the interactions between oxalate and the above-mentioned factors in forage plants.


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