Nutrient contents and in vitro digestibility of different parts of corn plant
The objective of this study was to assess the nutrient contents and in vitro true digestibility (IVTD) of parts of the corn plant. The corn used in the study was P2088, a variety that is grown widely in Turkey. It had matured and was harvested 140 days after planting. Four replicate plants were separated into nine parts, namely lower stalk, central stalk, upper stalk, corn ear stalk, corn ear shuck, kernels, corn cob, leaf, tassel, plus the entire plant. The samples were dried and ground for analysis. Nutritional values were determined in the laboratory and in vitro digestibility was assessed. Significant differences in nutrient content were observed among parts of the corn plant. The highest crude protein (CP) content was found in the leaf (12.41%), followed by the grain (12.37%). Dry matter (DM) varied from 91.25% to 96.07%. The highest ether extract (EE) was in the grain (2.84%), and the upper stalk contained the least EE (0.29%). The parts also differed in their contents of crude cellulose (CS) and crude ash (CA) (P <0.001). Most organic matter (OM) was found in the corn cup (94.27%). The highest in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) was in the kernels (79.06%) and the lowest was in the lower stalk (38.13%). In terms of in vitro true organic matter digestibility (OMD) values of the corn plant and its 9 parts, the highest values were found in the kernels and the lowest in the lower stalk.
Keywords: crude nutrients, in vitro true digestibility, parts of corn plant