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AMARANTH - A UNIQUE FORAGE CROP

The current system of zootechnical assessment of the nutritional value of feed and livestock rations for oatmeal feed units of pure energy of fat deposition for ruminants in our country is clearly outdated and is not used anywhere in the world.

Modern highly productive animals of advanced agricultural enterprises and livestock complexes require more complete feeding. The feed must be balanced in terms of protein, amino acid, carbohydrate, lipid, and trace element composition and contain a sufficient amount of vitamins and other physiologically active substances.

Feed protein. It is one of the main factors for the effective use of all feed and its metabolic energy. The feed protein is evaluated based on the solubility, cleavability, and availability of the digestible feed protein in the pre-pancreas and intestines. In this case, the quality of the amino acid composition and the availability of amino acids of the microbial protein formed in the pre-ventricles and not broken down in them is carefully taken into account.

Feed carbohydrates. Currently, it is already becoming insufficient to determine the content of raw fiber and nitrogen-free extractives in feed and diets. It is important to take into account the content of soluble sugars, starch, cellulose-lignin complex of pectins and hemicelluloses in the feed.

Currently, a limited set of feed crops is used in the feed conveyor, which is not able to fully provide animals with balanced feed without buying expensive imported supercenters. The task of specialists of agricultural enterprises is to expand the range of forage crops to obtain cheaper and more competitive livestock products.

One of the most valuable is the non-traditional forage crop amaranth. This plant is unique in its yield and nutritional value, and its widespread use can greatly facilitate the solution of the protein problem in animal husbandry.

Amaranth is an annual, tall (2-3 m) plant with a fleshy stem. The leaves are large, oval and pointed above. The green mass consists of 40-60% of the leaves, 30-35% of the stems and 18-28% of the inflorescences.

The great advantage of amaranth over forage crops is its high biological productivity. Forage species of amaranth give in the conditions of the Central Black Earth region about 500 c / ha of green mass, are used for green feed and for the preparation of haylage, silage. The green mass is well eaten by pigs, poultry, and cattle.

The yield of green mass exceeds by 20-30% the productivity of the traditional silage crop-corn. The use of amaranth in animal feeding makes the feed more complete and balanced in protein. For 1 feed unit in amaranth feed, there are 137-292 g of digestible protein. In terms of collecting protein, amino acids, vitamins, macro and microelements per unit area, amaranth surpasses traditional cereals and legumes.

Amaranth protein is among the best plant-based proteins and is superior in quality to soy protein. If you estimate the ideal protein (close to egg) at 100 points, then milk protein casein will have 72 points, soy – 68, wheat – 58, corn – 44, and amaranth - 75 points.

In terms of absolutely dry weight: crude protein 15.6-16.75%, fat-2.4-2.8%, fiber-16, -21.7%, calcium 2.1-2.6%, phosphorus 0.2-0.21%, carotene 160-200 mg. For comparison, the green mass of corn in the phase of milk-wax ripeness of the grain contains 7.5-8% protein, which is 2 times less than in amaranth. The concentration of water-soluble sugars is 6.4-7.2%, and pectin is 9.5-11.3% per dry mass.

The content of amino acids in 1 kg of dry matter of the vegetative mass ranges from 81.5 g to 148.0 g, the amaranth protein is characterized by a high content of essential amino acids. In 1 kg of dry matter of the vegetative mass, lysine contains 7.1-7.15 g, and in corn-2.8 g, i.e. 2.4 times less. According to the amino acid balance, the protein of amaranth leaves is close to ideal for pigs.

Carotene, riboflavin, folic acid, which are part of amaranth, regulate protein metabolism. This medicinal plant is rich in betaine, lysine, vitamins C and B2, which increases appetite, stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and cleanses it. The substances contained in amaranth have the ability to increase immunity, which is of great importance for the prevention and treatment of many diseases. Amaranth is a promising type of plant raw material for the production of medicinal phytopreparations used in veterinary medicine.

A significant disadvantage of corn feed, in particular silage, is the low protein content (no more than 60% according to the zootechnical norm). In this regard, it is important to look for plants that combine high yield with high protein content. Close to corn in biological properties and agricultural technology, but in many ways superior to it is a new crop-amaranth.

As noted earlier, the green mass of amaranth contains an average of 200 g of protein per 1 feed unit. Using it in its pure form leads to an overspend of protein.

As a result of numerous studies, it was revealed that in order to increase dairy and meat productivity and reduce feed costs per unit of production, we recommend including amaranth, corn-amaranth silage in the rations of cattle in the amount of 30-35%.

LLC "Russian Olive" offers seeds and advice on growing amaranth.

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