Just released in Agriculture

Does Digestate Dose Affect Fodder Security and Nutritive Value?

by Ivana Kolackova, Barbora Smolkova, Oldrich Latal, Sylvie Skalickova, Jiri Skladanka, Pavel Horky, Pavel Knot, Tereza Hammerschmiedt, Antonin Kintl, Jiri Holatko, Jan Pozdisek, Martin Brtnicky


With the rising interest in digestate use as a fertilizer on permanent cultures, there is a need to examine its effects on food and feed quality. This study is focused on the use of digestate in grassland fertilization and its effects on nutritive value parameters such as mycotoxin contamination (deoxynivalenol, aflatoxin, and T-2 toxin) and nutrient content (crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, ash, nitrogen-free extract, digestibility of organic matter, acid detergent fiber, and ash-free neutral detergent fiber). The experiment was carried out in the Czech Republic, and the effects of fertilization regime, year, and harvest date (summer and fall cuts) on nutritive value were observed. An effect of the year on DON, AFB1, and T-2 contamination levels was observed. An effect of the harvest or fertilization regime on mycotoxin contamination was not observed. Significant differences were observed in the content of all nutrients, except ash, depending on the year. Differences were found only in the case of ADF levels, depending on the harvest date, as well; however, no differences were found between fertilization regimes. Our findings suggest that digestate does not negatively affect fodder in terms of nutritive value nor safety.

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Upcoming project: Production of non-hazardous feed from dry-resistant Leguminose

MENDELU internal grant Proof of concept 2 has supported our project:

Production of non-hazardous feed from dry-resistant Leguminose

The aim of the MENDELU Proof of concept 2 is an efficient system of support of the proof-of-concept activities (hereafter PoC) at MENDELU in 2020 – 2022. The proposal of the PoC suppport is drafted as an integral part of the commercialisation system developer at the university. Regarding the PoC, MENDELU expects efficient transformation of its research and development results into practical applications, enabling their real commercial exploitation and related use in practice. More precisely in common business or other activity of end-user of technologies.

The main investigator is Assoc. Prof. Pavel Knot, Ph.D.

About the project:

Mycotoxins and biogenic amines are two types of food contaminants that can cause health problems in animals. Mycotoxins are toxic substances produced by certain fungi that can grow on food crops, while biogenic amines are naturally occurring compounds that can be found in fermented feed such as silage. To reduce the risk of exposure to these contaminants, it is important to properly store and handle food products. Additionally, regular testing and monitoring of food products can help to identify and prevent the presence of mycotoxins and biogenic amines.

Just Released in the Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

Degradation of biogenic amines and in vitro evaluation of ruminal parameters of the ruminal fluid of Charolais sheep

by Ivana Kolackova, Jiri Skladanka, Sylvie Skalickova, Pavel Horky, Natalia Cernei, Zuzana Lackova, Jiri Trinacty, Vojtech Adam


In this study, we reported the evaluation of ruminal parameters and the rate and degree of degradation of biogenic amines (BA) in vitro, using ruminal fluid from sheep fed two different diets (meadow hay and silage of Medicago sativa L.). Herein, the Charolais sheep breed with a ruminal cannula was used to gather samples. Multiple rumen parameters were evaluated after 10 days of the feeding period. Samples were processed using fermenters inoculated by BA (histamine, tyramine, putrescine, cadaverine, spermine, and spermidine) during 8-h fermentation. Levels of BA were determined using ion-exchange chromatography, and volatile fatty acids (VFA) were determined using gas chromatography. More rapid BA degradation was noticed in hay than in haylage. Overall, VFA levels increased with duration of the fermentation, while pH lowered. The rapid increase was observed after 4 h of fermentation. Ammonia concentration had a decreasing trend in silage and increasing in the hay. Hypotheses on BA degradation were accepted. Important knowledge of the development of ruminal parameters in time was obtained, and based on gathered information, it is possible to say that other parameters and their impacts on BA in rumen need to be examined further.

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Launch of a New Research Laboratory

New Laboratory Opens for Animal Nutrition and Forage Research at the Department of Animal Nutrition and Forage production

On 20 April 2020, the Department of Animal Nutrition and Forage officially opened a newly reconstructed laboratory that was once an experimental room for animals. The opening ceremony was attended by the dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, and colleagues of the Department of Animal Nutrition and Forage, who were excited to witness the launch of this advanced laboratory, which will undoubtedly be a game-changer in the field of animal nutrition research.

Equipped with advanced technology, the new laboratory at the Institute of Animal Nutrition and Forage features analytical, microbiological, and molecular biological sections. With basic laboratory equipment and a wide range of analysis capabilities, including HPLC, GC, and Plate reader analyses, the laboratory can quantitatively analyze important micronutrients in feed, mycotoxins, and biomarkers in blood and tissue. Additionally, the microbiology section enables the cultivation of both pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms, while the molecular biology laboratory is equipped with qPCR for quantitative and qualitative detection.

The laboratory’s primary purpose is for research and development in the field of animal nutrition and forage, providing researchers with state-of-the-art technology to carry out advanced studies in this field. Dr. Skalickova is the contact person for any research-related inquiries.

Take a tour across the lab reconstruction or click here

and find more about our Research Lab