Neutral detergent fiber (NDF)

A measurement of fiber after digesting in a nonacidic, nonalkaline detergent as an aid in determining quality of forages. Contains the fibers in ADF plus hemicellulose. Measures the structural part of the plant, the plant cell wall which consists of lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose. NDF gives bulk or fill to the diet and is negatively correlated with feed intake. Because NDF can be used to predict intake, it is one of the most valuable analysis to have conducted on forages for dairy rations. Low NDF is usually desired. As maturity of the plant at harvest increases, cell wall content of the plant increases and NDF increases. [Source: USDA National Plant Materials Manual]

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