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Wayamba Journal of Animal Science

A SIMPLE AND QUICK ON-FARM TOOL KIT TO DETERMINE NITRATE LEVELS IN FORAGES AT FIELD CONDITIONS

K. G. J. Kumara, A.M.J.B. Adikari1 and G.G.C. Premalal
WJAS ID 1543859542 Date : 2019-02-15 Volume : 11

Nitrate poisoning, mainly due to consumption of excessive amount of nitrate from forages, hay, silage, weeds and drinking of water or waste water, is one of the problems faced by dairy industry in Sri Lanka. Though few laboratory methods are already available for the quantification of nitrate levels in forage, a new on-farm technique or method is required to practice at field condition. An experiment was conducted to find out the suitability of introducing a new method to determine the forage nitrate levels at field conditions. The new method was developed with series of experiments and validated with the standard laboratory Salicylic Acid method. A field experiment was conducted in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in two factor factorial arrangement with three replicates to evaluate the effect of plant parts (stem and leaves) and growth stages (15 & 30 and 45 days) on nitrate accumulation using the developed method. Data were statistically analyzed using paired t-test and two way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) in SAS. Results revealed that the developed method was significantly different (P<0.05) to standard laboratory Salicylic Acid method. However, there was a linear relationship between two methods. Accordingly, a value of 398.1ppm nitrate concentration needs to be adjusted with the new method. In addition, it showed an interaction between two factors in nitrate accumulation (P<0.05). The highest nitrate contents were observed in stems compared to the leaves and declined with maturity. Thus, it can be concluded that the developed method can be used at field conditions to measure the nitrate level with an adjustment and nitrate accumulation in forages depends on plant parts and growth stage.

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