AbstractRamie (Boehmeria nivea (L.) Gaudich) was evaluated at 20-, 40-, and 60- day growth stages in three trials for chemical composition, yield, and intake with Holstein steers, respectively. Crude protein and ash contents decreased while crude fiber and nitrogen free extract contents increased as ramie advanced in maturity from 20 to 60 days of age. The ether extract content remained about the same between 20- and 40-day stages but decreased at the 60 day stage. Significant differences (P < .01) were obtained in green forage yields between 20- and 40- or 60-day ramie, and in dry forage and crude protein yields between 20- and 40-day, 20- and 60-day, and 40- and 60-day ramie. Significant differences (P < .01) were also obtained in green forage intakes between 20- and 40-day, 20- and 60-day, and 40- and 60-day ramie, and in dry forage intakes between 20- or 40- and 60-day ramie. Although ramie has a high crude protein content, its yields and intakes are very low in comparison to those of tropical grasses and alfalfa. It may be utilized as a feed or feed ingredient for livestock, principally monogastrics or small ruminants.
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