Assessment of the Nutritive Value of Whole Corn Stover and Its Morphological Fractions

  • Li, H.Y. (Northeast Agricultural University) ;
  • Xu, L. (Northeast Agricultural University) ;
  • Liu, W.J. (Northeast Agricultural University) ;
  • Fang, M.Q. (Northeast Agricultural University) ;
  • Wang, N. (Northeast Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2013.07.24
  • Accepted : 2013.10.09
  • Published : 2014.02.01


This study investigated the chemical composition and ruminal degradability of corn stover in three maize-planting regions in Qiqihaer, Heilongjiang Province, China. The whole stover was separated into seven morphological fractions, i.e., leaf blade, leaf sheath, stem rind, stem pith, stem node, ear husk, and corn tassel. The assessment of nutritive value of corn stover and its fractions was performed based on laboratory assays of the morphological proportions, chemical composition, and in situ degradability of dry matter (DM), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and acid detergent fiber (ADF). The chemical composition of corn stover was significantly different from plant top to bottom (p<0.05). Among the whole corn stover and seven morphological fractions, leaf blade had the highest crude protein (CP) content and the lowest NDF and ADF contents (p<0.05), whereas stem rind had the lowest CP content and the highest ADF and acid detergent lignin (ADL) contents (p<0.05). Ear husk had significantly higher NDF content and relatively lower ADL content than other corn stover fractions. Overall, the effective degradability of DM, NDF, and ADF in rumen was the highest in leaf blade and stem pith, followed by ear husk. The results indicate that leaf blade, ear husk, and stem pith potentially have higher nutritive values than the other fractions of corn stover. This study provides reference data for high-efficiency use of corn stover in feeding ruminants.


Whole Corn Stover;Morphological Fraction;Chemical Composition;In situ Degradability;Qiqihaer


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