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Commodities: Field Crops: Forages

Common Terms Used in Animal Feeding and Nutrition

Glossary: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Laboratory Proficiency: The appropriateness of the analytical procedures used and the precision of laboratory techniques are determined by many factors (e.g., skills of technicians, quality of the chemicals, and water, etc.) which describe the ultimate accuracy and precision of forage analysis. The National Forage Testing Association (NFTA) certifies the proficiency of laboratories with regard to accurately testing hay and corn silage for DM, CP, ADF, NDF, and minerals. Using a NFTA certified laboratory is a safe option for testing your forages. For a current listing of certified laboratories, as well as more information about proficiency testing, visit NFTA’s web site ( Both “Wet Chemistry” and “Near Infrared Spectroscopy” laboratories of the University of Georgia’s Feed and Environmental Laboratory are certified by NFTA.

Lignin: a complex carbohydrate compound, a major structural component of mature plants, and contained in the fibrous portion of stems, leaves, cobs and hulls of plants. It is undigestible and hence has a negative impact on cellulose digestibility. As the lignin content in a feed increases, digestibility of its cellulose decreases thereby lowering the amount of energy potentially available to the animal. The term “lignin” was derived from the Latin word “lignum,” meaning wood, since it most commonly occurs in the woody tissues of plant materials.

Lipids: These are substances found in plant and animal tissues that are insoluble in water, but soluble in benzene or ether; lipids include glycolipids, phosphoglycerides, fats, oils, waxes and steroids.

Lysine: An essential amino acid for protein synthesis. It is the first limiting amino acid in corn-soybean–based swine diets. It can be added to diets in a synthetic form.