Neutral detergent fibre (NDF)
Neutral detergent fibre (NDF) represents the total weight of the cell walls. The neutral detergent fibre (NDF) indicates the total amount of cell walls within the product. The cell walls of forage consist of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. NDF can be used to determine the ratio of cell walls to cell content.
NDF content has a relationship with milk production because the counterpart cell content contains most of the milk-driving components (protein, sugars). The proportion of cell walls can be reduced by cutting the grass young. However, cows, as ruminants, need NDF as a source of structure. A cow can also produce milk from part of the NDF, the hemicellulose.