Effect of nitrogen fertilisation on diurnal phenolic concentration and foam strength in forage of hard red wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cv. Cutter Academic Article uri icon


  • Frothy bloat is a serious digestive disorder in cattle (Bos taurus L.) grazing winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) forage in the southern Great Plains of the USA. Wheat plant metabolism is one of the factors involved in bloat. We determined diurnal and seasonal patterns of total phenolic accumulation and foam strength (a measure of bloat potential) in forage of winter wheat cv. Cutter in response to nitrogen (N) fertilisation when grown at Vernon, Texas, during two growing seasons (NovemberMarch) in 200607 and 200708. The diurnal pattern of phenolic accumulation followed the diurnal pattern of solar radiation, with lower values in the morning and the evening, and maximum values around midday. The range of phenolic concentrations measured was 1.96.6mg/g dry matter (tannic acid equivalent). The diurnal pattern of foam strength was opposite to that of phenolic accumulation and ranged from 15.5 to 21.8min/cm. Nitrogen fertilisation (33, 67, and 134kg/ha) had inconsistent effects on diurnal patterns of phenolic accumulation and foam strength. With increased N fertilisation rate, concentrations of total, soluble, and insoluble protein fractions increased, whereas soluble carbohydrate concentrations declined. Phenolic concentrations were higher in JanuaryFebruary 2007 and NovemberDecember 2007 than in other months and declined in March of each growing season. Foam strength was higher in late autumn than spring in both growing seasons. The results suggest that diurnal patterns of phenolic accumulation in wheat forage respond to diurnal pattern of solar radiation and are inversely correlated with diurnal patterns of foam strength. Breeding wheat cultivars with enhanced phenolic content in forage may be one approach to reduce bloat incidence in grazing cattle.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Malinowski, D. P., Pitta, D. W., Pinchak, W. E., Min, B. R., & Emendack, Y. Y.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Malinowski, DP||Pitta, DW||Pinchak, WE||Min, BR||Emendack, YY

publication date

  • September 2011