Nutrient Content of Opuntia Forage Clones in the Mendoza Plain, Argentina


Opuntia clones; forage; cladode age; organic matter; in vitro organic matter digestibility; neutral detergent fibre; acid detergent fibre; crude protein; dry matter.


Variations in organic matter (OM), in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD), crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF), and dry matter (DM) with cladode age were examined for seven Opuntia forage clones. The nutritional parameters were measured for three age classes. Data were analysed using ANOVA, linear regression analysis and principal components analysis. For all age classes combined, clones showed high OM (81.6% to 86.8% DM), and IVOMD (69.5% to 82.1%) and low protein content (3.2% to 5.0% DM). They had from 22.7% to 27.1% NDF, and from 12.0% to 16.0% ADF (dry-weight basis); DM ranged from 7.3% to 11.5%. A significant (p <0.05) or close to be significant (p = 0.08) linear relationship between each nutritional parameter and age classes was found for all clones, except for OM that showed a significant (p <0.05) linear relationship only for two clones. Each clone was associated with a high content of one or two particular nutritional parameters. The clone SJ of O. ficus-indica that had greater average percent CP than the other clones and a high IVOMD value appears to be the most outstanding clone.






Scientific Papers