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Forages and pastures symposium: an update on in vitro and in situ experimental techniques for approximation of ruminal fiber degradation

By: Jamie L Foster, William B Smith, F Monte Rouquette, Luis O Tedeschi

In vitro and in situ techniques are important to studying ruminant nutrition because these procedures go beyond measures of components of a feedstuff in a laboratory by fermenting a sample in ruminal fluid. The in situ procedure was first described regarding ruminant nutrition in 1938 and in vitro in 1966 and both techniques have been refined over time to improve the reliability of results. This review focused on the state of knowledge 30 yr ago and significant discoveries that have impacted these techniques in the last 30 yr and shared a vision for future opportunities to refine these methods further. Commercialization of equipment and supplies has resulted in increased standardization of these methods; however, efforts should be made to continue to improve the standardization, and reliability of the results, of these procedures. Statistical analyses and data science applications are opportunities to expand these techniques to modern nutritional models and/or forecasting animal performance. The amount and kinetics of ruminal degradation estimate that in vitro and in situ techniques provide continue to be crucial to advance the efficiency and sustainability of ruminant animal production.

Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.