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Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) grain and by-products


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Common names 

Buckwheat, common buckwheat [English]; blé noir, blé de Barbarie, bucail, sarrasin [French]; Gwinizh-du [Breton]; pohanka [Czech]; boekweit [Dutch]; tattari [Finland]; echter Buchweizen, blenden, Brein, gemeiner Buchweizen, Haidl, Heidenkorn, Heidensterz, schwarzes Welschkorn, türkischer Weizen [German]; Φαγόπυρον το εδώδιμον [Greek]; grano saraceno [Italiano]; gryka [Poland]; trigo mouresco, trigo sarraceno [Portuguese]; Hrișcă [Romanian]; alforfón, trigo sarraceno [Spanish]; Karabuğday [Turkish]; Mạch ba góc, Kiều mạch [Vietnamese]; Bokwiet [Afrikaans]; Gandum kuda [Bahasa Indonesia]; حنطة سوداء [Arabic]; 蕎麥 [Chinese]; כוסמת [Hebrew]; कूटू [Hindi]; ソバ [Japanese]; 메밀 [Korean]; Гречиха посевная [Russian].


Fagopyrum esculentum subsp. ancestralis Ohnishi, Polygonum fagopyrum L.


Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) is an erect annual herb grown worldwide for its edible seed, which is used like cereal grains such as wheat or maize. For that reason, buckwheat grain is classified among the cereal grains even though it is from the Polygonaceae family and not from the Poaceae (grasses) family like proper cereals. As its composition is close to that of cereals, buckwheat grain can be used as feed for all classes of farm animals (Jansen, 2006).

The buckwheat plant yields several products and by-products (Steadman et al., 2001a):

  • Buckwheat grain: the seed (actually an achene) can be used whole, dehulled (groats) or further milled to produce flour.
  • Buckwheat hulls (husks): the seed pericarps resulting from the dehulling process.
  • Buckwheat bran: it results from the milling of the grain. Its composition depends on whether or not the grain has been dehulled prior to milling. Bran from whole grains include hull fragments and may contain high amounts of fibre. Bran from dehulled grains can be extremely rich in protein.
  • Buckwheat forage (see Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) forage datasheet)

The Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tartaricum (L.) Gaertn.) is a related species from eastern Asia that is also domesticated. Its seeds are more bitter than those of the common buckwheat, which may explain its lesser popularity as food (Fabjan et al., 2003).


Buckwheat is an erect annual herb that grows up to 1.2 m high and has an indeterminate growth habit. The root system consists in a shallow taproot and spreading secondary roots that can go 1 m deep (Kammermeyer, 2016). The stems are hollow and triangular. Its leaves are alternate, simple and entire, with stipules. Lower leaves are petiolated while upper ones are almost sessile. The leaf blade is triangular to cordate, 2-10 cm long x 2-10 cm broad. The inflorescence is an axillary or terminal cluster of flowers, combined in false racemes. The flowers are regular, small-sized, rose-red to white in colour. The fruit is a typical triangular, winged nutlet, 5-7.5 mm x 3 mm, grey-brown, dark brown to black in colour. The seed is pale green turning reddish brown almost the same size as the fruit (Jansen, 2006).


Buckwheat is primarily grown for human consumption. The grain is generally used as human food and as animal or poultry feed (Campbell, 1997). The grain is eaten whole or dehulled, cooked into porridge, ground into flour or groats depending on the intended use. The flour is used in the preparation of pancakes, biscuits, noodles ("crozets" in the French Alps), cereals, etc. Buckwheat has regained interest because of its protein is is gluten-free and thus sought after by consumers with gluten intolerance. It is reported to have prophylactic values, such as an anthelminthic effect when fed to livestock (Goncalves et al., 2016; Christa et al., 2008).

Buckwheat bran and middlings can be used to feed livestock. Buckwheat hulls have many uses. Farmers use them as fuel or to feed ruminants when the stock of buckwheat straw is exhausted. They are are a popular fill material for pillows, bean bags, and packaging containers in the food-canning industry. Other uses include the production of potash and as a source of natural colors in the food industry (Ratan et al., 2011; Zemnukhova et al., 2004; Taranenko et al., 2016).


Buckwheat originated from Asia. It was domesticated first in southern China as early as 2000 to 3000 BCE. It was later introduced to other Asian countries, southward crossing the Himalayas and eastwards to Japan. The arrival of buckwheat in Europe followed the silkroad and its cultivation became popular during the early Middle ages. During the 17th century, European emigrants brought buckwheat to the Americas and to South Africa. It is now grown worldwide.

Buckwheat production reached its maximum during the 19th century. It later declined due to the emergence of cereal crops that made more benefit of fertilizers and had greater yields. Total crop area was 2.5 million ha in 1961 and it was down to 1.44 million ha in 2010 (Jacquemart et al., 2012). Since the 2000s, there has been a renewed interest in buckwheat due its favourable nutrient properties for human consumption, such as its gluten-free proteins and antioxidative substances. It has been reported to be a good cover crop (Jacquemart et al., 2012). Since 2010, buckwheat crop area has been steadily increasing and was 3.94 million ha in 2017 (FAO, 2019). In 2017, buckwheat grain production worldwide was about 3.82 million t (FAO, 2019). Before the 1970s, 75% of the US buckwheat production were used for livestock feeding but the value of buckwheat grain for human diet resulted in lower use in animal feeding (Oplinger et al., 1989).

Buckwheat is found in temperate and subtropical areas. It can be cultivated at higher elevations in the tropics (1500 m altitude in Ethiopia, for example). Buckwheat can grow where day temperatures are in the 18-30°C range where night temperatures are 5-10°C lower (Jansen, 2006). It requires a dry period at maturity and harvest but it is sensitive to drought at earlier stages because of its shallow roots. If drought occurs during blooming stage, seed production is impaired. Buckwheat does very well on low N, light sandy soils with neutral to slightly acidic pH. It is particularly adapted to recently cleared infertile fields, drained marshland or acidic soils with a high content of decomposing organic matter. It does not well on rich soils since lush growth causes lodging and reduces seed set. However, if it is grown to produce biomass and not seed, rich heavy soils keep being valuable (Jacquemart et al., 2012).

Forage management 

Buckwheat is a fast-growing plant that can be cultivated as a summer or a winter crop in rotation with cereals or be intercropped with vegetables (Jansen, 2006). However, it is not recommended to sow buckwheat in mixed stand with legumes. Buckwheat reaches its full height only 4-6 weeks after sowing and sets seeds within 70-130 days after emergence. The indeterminate growth habit of buckwheat is a constraint of the crop as it is never easy to determine when best harvest of the grain can be obtained.


Buckwheat seeds should be sown on a clean, firm, well-prepared, 5 cm-deep seed-bed. It can be drilled at 40-60 kg/ha to 2-4 cm depth in rows spaced 30 cm apart or it can be broadcast at higher density (+10-20 kg seeds/ha) and then harrowed to cover with topsoil (Jansen, 2006). Though weeds are generally not a problem, fast-growing weeds may be an issue: this is alleviated by sowing at higher density and harrowing 4 weeks after sowing. This operation removes weeds and some buckweat plants but the high density of buckwheat allows it to remain in good quantity. If sown at lower density the plant will make more branches and seeds.


Ranges of grain yield have been reported to be 1.46-1.59 t/ha (Turkey, Kara, 2014), 1.2-1.7 t/ha (USA, Björkman, 2010) or 0.76-1.53 t/ha (harsh conditions in southern Italy, Brunori et al., 2005).


Determining time of harvest is uneasy because of the undeterminate habit of the plant. The plant may still be green when the seeds are mature. It is recommended to examine the grains when the crop enters the 10th and 11th week after sowing. Harvest should start when 3/4 of the seeds are brown and the groat inside is firm. The main concerns for harvest timing are lodging and shattering. The risk of lodging increases quickly as the seeds get heavier, the leaves fall, and the winds become stronger. Shattering occurs in over-mature plants and causes much of the grain to be lost if harvest is delayed too long (Björkman, 2010).

Environmental impact 

Buckwheat present several environmental advantages, and it has been suggested that using it as an animal feed could help to counteract the food-feed competition, particularly as it can provide a second harvest on arable land under temperate conditions (Amelchanka et al., 2010).

High quality cover crop and rotational effect

Buckwheat germinates and grows quickly, soon developing a dense shading canopy that smothers weeds effectively (Kammermeyer, 2016; Valenzuela et al., 2002). It produces high amount of biomass that can be ploughed into the soil for high N and high P manure (Jacquemart et al., 2012). Buckwheat has an excellent rotational effect. It is a phosphorus scavenger: its roots exsude chemical substances that extract inorganic phosphorus from the soil. Roots residues make phosphorus more available to the next crop and return considerable levels of phosphorus to the soil (Valenzuela et al., 2002).

Weed and diseases control

The buckwheat plant has some allelopathic properties that prevent weed development (Jacquemart et al., 2012). Buckwheat residues have been reported to have allelopathic effects on weeds (Valenzuela et al., 2002). Spreading 2 t of buckwheat pellets before rice plantation was found to reduce weeds by 80% in rice fields and to increase rice yield by 20% (Eom et al., 1999; Iqbal et al., 2002). Buckwheat decreases disease load (Jacquemart et al., 2012).

Interaction with insects

With its continuous blooming, buckwheat attracts many kinds of insects including pest predators like syrphids. It is a good foraging plant for bees that make tasteful honey from its nectar: honey production averages 70–100 kg/ha and reaches 150–300 kg/ha for the best cultivars. Its long lasting flowering period is valuable for beekeepers as the bees can still find food on buckwheat when other melliferous plants have disappeared (Naumkin, 1998; Olson, 2001; Cawoy et al., 2008).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 


The nutritive characteristics of buckwheat are similar to those of cereal grains. It is primarily an energy feed and particularly rich in starch (45-60% DM). The protein content is in the range of 10-16% DM and the NDF content in the range of 20-30% DM. Compared to maize and wheat, buckwheat grains are richer in lysine (5-6% of the protein) and arginine. The lipid content of buckwheat grain is moderate (2.5-2.8% DM), but it is rich in linoleic acid (33-40% of fatty acids).

In vitro anthelmintic and antioxidant effects of buckwheat grains linked to its richness in secondary compounds have been demonstrated in vitro (Goncalves et al., 2016). Buckwheat grain is richer in B vitamins than true cereals (Linh et al., 2014; Christa et al., 2008).


Buckwheat bran has a variable composition that depends on the amount of hulls included in the final product. In any case, it tends to have a high protein content: 14-23% DM for buckwheat bran that includes hulls, and more than 25% DM (up to 40%) for bran obtained from dehulled grains.


Buckwheat hulls are mainly composed of fibre: they contain up to more than 90% NDF and they are very rich in lignin (25-33% DM).

Potential constraints 

Skin photosensitivity

The buckwheat plant contains fagopyrins, a group of phototoxic substances that cause skin photosensitivity, eruptions on the skin, itching behavior, allergic reactions and even death after ingestion (Wender et al., 1943; Leiber, 2016). Light-coloured animals are particularly susceptible to that risk if they are fed buckwheat for a extended period and exposed to sunlight (Lardy et al., 2009). Because fagopyrins are more present in the green plant than in the grain, ruminants fed buckwheat forage are more at risk than pig and poultry fed on grain. A limit given in many feeding guides is the amount of buckwheat in ruminant diets should not exceed 20-25% of the concentrate. However, while observations about fagopyrism go back to the early 18th century, there are actually few reported cases, which are old and partly anecdotal, so that a scientific update should be necessary to define dietary thresholds (Leiber, 2016).

Tannins and phenolic compounds

All parts of buckwheat plant contain high concentrations of condensed tannins and total phenolic compounds. Rutin and quercetin are the main phenolic compounds (Herremans et al., 2018; Christa et al., 2008; Kalinova et al., 2006). Rutin tends to concentrate in the hulls in the common buckwheat and in the kernels in the Tartary buckwheat (Steadman et al., 2001b). The grain of Tartary buckwheat contains more rutin, quercitrin and quercetin than the common buckwheat (Steadman et al., 2001b; Fabjan et al., 2003).



There are few studies on the use of buckwheat grains for ruminant feeding. It is recommended that buckwheat grain inclusion should be limited to 20-25% of the concentrate to prevent photosensitization, and that it should be ground for all classes of livestock (Lardy et al., 2009).

Dairy cows

In a trial in Switzerland, buckwheat grain was found to be a palatable feed ingredient for dairy cows with no adverse effects. Its net energy value for lactation was acceptably high though lower than that of the wheat grain. Intake and milk yield did not change when dairy cows received buckwheat grains (94 g/kg DM) instead of concentrate. An in vitro fermentation test showed that the nutrient degradability of buckwheat was similar to that of wheat, but that ruminal N utilization was slightly lower (Amelchanka et al., 2010). It has been suggested that provision of quercetin or rutin through buckwheat feeding in cows could promote animal health and reduce methane emissions without deleterious effects on ruminal fermentations or subsequent effects on volatile fatty acids (lower stress during early lactation)(Berger et al., 2015).

Beef cattle

In a trial in Canada with fattening steers, it was found that steam-rolled grains of Tartary buckwheat could be a reasonable replacer for cereals in diets and did not impair growth rate. However, dry-rolled Tartary buckwheat grains altered palatability and growth performance, which suggests that steaming inhibited antinutritional factors (Nicholson et al., 1976).


In Australia, sheep fed with buckwheat, wheat or oats showed no differences in intake and in wool growth performance but the digestible energy of the diet was lower when it contained buckwheat (Mulholland et al., 1995).

Bran and middlings

While they are rich in protein and energy, buckwheat bran and middlings should not be used as the sole source of concentrate or fed at more than 25% of the diet because a skin rash can develop if it is fed at high levels (Lardy et al., 2009).



Buckwheat grain can be used in pig feeding as a source of energy. Its protein is relatively rich in lysine and methionine. However, the digestibilities of energy, DM and protein in buckwheat is lower than those of wheat (60-65% vs. 80-85%) (Duval, 1995). Because of the presence of fagopyrin and the risk of skin sensitization, buckwheat grain is not recommended for light-coloured organic pigs that stay outside (Blair, 2007).

Buckwheat grain could replace wheat grain in diets for growing pigs without altering nutrient digestibility and growth performance provided it could be supplemented with a protein source (Anderson et al., 1984; Farrell, 1978). However, at high dietary proportions of buckwheat (above 60%), digestibility was impaired and the acceptablity of buckwheat in pigs was poor. The growth performance of pigs fed on buckwheat grain as a sole feed were lower than with wheat-only diets (Farrell, 1978; van Wyk et al., 1952).

The grain contains high concentrations of antioxidative phenols and vitamins that may be beneficial to improving the oxidative stability of pork meat (Kalinova et al., 2006; Wijngaard et al., 2006), but this effect is not yet supported by trials (Leiber, 2016).


A phenol-rich buckwheat bran included in pigs diets had no effect on fatty acid profiles or oxidative stability in the muscle (Flis et al., 2010).


Defective grains of buckwheat and waste products from processing like buckwheat bran or hulls are used as feed in poultry farming (Taranenko et al., 2016; Benvenuti et al., 2011). Buckwheat grain is mainly a source of energy for poultry. Though it has relatively low protein content, its amino acid profile, high in lysine, methionine and threonine makes buckwheat grain a suitable protein source for poultry. The fibre contained in the hulls/bran of the grain are not considered a limiting factor. The risk of skin sensitization due to fagopyrin exists in birds fed on buckwheat but is considerably lower than in ruminants as the fagopyrin is mainly contained in the green parts of the plant and not in the seeds (Leiber, 2016).


Buckwheat grain could be included in broilers diet up to 40% (diet DM) in order to replace wheat or maize grain without compromising growth rates, slaughter weights, and feed conversion ratios (Leiber et al., 2009; Jacob et al., 2008; Gupta et al., 2002). An early study reported that buckwheat, as a main component of broiler diet, was superior to wheat and oats cereals, regarding N retention, growth rate and feed conversion. However, the buckwheat diet resulted in a feed conversion ratio poorer than with the commercial diet (Farrell, 1978). Above 40% DM dietary level, feeding buckwheat results in a poorer feed conversion ratio due to reduced body weight gain (Gupta et al., 2002) or higher feed intake (Jacob et al., 2008). This could be due to the fibre brought by buckwheat hulls in the diet (Leiber, 2016).

When buckwheat replaces wheat in the diet, it can significantly increase the tocopherol concentration in broiler meat due to the high tocopheraol content of the grain (Leiber et al., 2009).

Laying hens


Laying hens fed on whole grain buckwheat or shelled buckwheat at a dietary level of 40% dry matter had similar egg production and significantly heavier eggs compared to those on wheat-based control diet (Leiber et al., 2011). Former results obtained with a less performing genotype were not in accordance with this promising results (Farrell, 1978).

Buckwheat grain was reported to improve egg quality. Feeding whole buckwheat grains was reported to improve the shell strength of the eggs (Leiber et al., 2011). The tocopherol concentration in egg yolk may be more than doubled when whole grain buckwheat replaces wheat (Leiber et al., 2011).


Partially substituting maize and soybean with buckwheat bran (30% DM) in a diet for layers maintained their performance on the same level as the control (Benvenuti et al., 2011).



Buckwheat grain has been known for a long time as suitable for rabbit feeding (Voris et al., 1940). It can easily replace a mixture of maize and wheat bran in balanced diets for growing rabbits. In a trial in Brazil, including buckwheat up to 14% in the diet did not alter growth rate, feed efficiency or slaughter yield (Furlan et al., 2006). In another trial in the USA, it was possible to replace wheat by-products and maize by including up to 60% buckwheat without modifying growth rate and the digestibility of energy and crude protein digestibility. Only ADF digestibility was impaired with the increase of the buckwheat proportion in the diet (Tor-Agbidye et al., 1990). In a study conducted in India, buckwheat grains were included in a concentrate given ad libitum to growing rabbits with freshly cut soybean fodder, also ad libitum. Even with the highest level of buckwheat tested (78.5% of the concentrate), there were no significant differences in growth rate, dry matter intake and feed efficiency in grower rabbits fed either control or buckwheat based test diets (Gupta et al., 2006)

If buckwheat grain is available, it must be considered for inclusion in balanced rabbit diets in the same manner as cereals, but with a noticeable difference in the protein amino-acids equilibrium. The lysine content of the buckwheat protein is higher than that of cereals and may covers up to 120% of rabbit requirements. It is deficient in sulphur amino acid, which cover only about 75-80% of rabbits requirements (Javornik et al., 1984; Zhao et al., 2004, Lebas, 2013). Reported digestible energy values are in the 14.0-14.4 MJ/kg DM range (Voris et al., 1940 ; Furlan et al., 2006).


No information seems available in the literature of the use of buckwheat bran in rabbit feeding. As buckwheat bran is used in ruminant feeding they could be considered as a potential ingredient for rabbit feeding, mainly a source of protein with a low content of fibre (Waller, 2010; Ratan et al., 2011).


Buckwheat hulls are rich in fibre and are one of most lignin-rich ingredients: they may be considered as a potential source of lignin for balanced diets for rabbits. However, direct experiments should be done with buckwheat hulls, as a series of trials in Korea in the 1930s mentioned severe physiological alterations following the distribution of buckwheat grain and hulls to rabbits, rats and mice (Kubo et al., 1938; Kubo et al., 1939). Whether these effects were due to the hulls themselves or to the presence of contaminants such as mycotoxins on the hulls remains undetermined.

Nutritional tables

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 84.9 5.2 69.6 93.2 19  
Crude protein % DM 13.2 1.4 9.3 16.4 27  
Crude fibre % DM 13.1 2.7 7.3 17 14  
Neutral detergent fibre % DM 24.9 3.7 20.7 31.4 9  
Acid detergent fibre % DM 17 1.8 14.2 19.4 7  
Lignin % DM 8.3 1 7.2 10.1 6  
Ether extract % DM 2.6 0.7 1.5 4.6 16  
Ash % DM 2.9 1.8 1.7 8 18  
Insoluble ash % DM 0.4       1  
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 55 5.6 43.6 61.5 9  
Total sugars % DM 1   0.8 1.2 4  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.7 0.3 18.3 18.9 5 *
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Alanine g/16g N 4.4   4.3 4.5 2  
Arginine g/16g N 9.2 0.4 8.7 9.7 5  
Aspartic acid g/16g N 11.4   11.3 11.4 2  
Cystine g/16g N 1.8   1.6 2.5 4  
Glutamic acid g/16g N 18.6   18.5 18.6 2  
Glycine g/16g N 6.5   6.3 6.6 2  
Histidine g/16g N 2.5   2.3 2.7 4  
Isoleucine g/16g N 3.5 0.6 2.8 4 5  
Leucine g/16g N 6.4 0.3 6.1 6.7 5  
Lysine g/16g N 5.7 0.7 4.6 6.2 5  
Methionine g/16g N 2.3 0.3 1.9 2.5 5  
Methionine+cystine g/16g N 4.1         *
Phenylalanine g/16g N 4.5   4.2 4.8 4  
Phenylalanine+tyrosine g/16g N 6.7         *
Proline g/16g N 3.9   3.8 3.9 2  
Serine g/16g N 4.8   4.7 4.9 2  
Threonine g/16g N 3.6 0.5 2.9 4 5  
Tryptophan g/16g N 0.6       1  
Tyrosine g/16g N 2.1   2 2.3 3  
Valine g/16g N 4.8   2.5 6.3 4  
Fatty acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Palmitic acid C16:0 % fatty acids 16.6       1  
Stearic acid C18:0 % fatty acids 1.6       1  
Oleic acid C18:1 % fatty acids 35.8       1  
Linoleic acid C18:2 % fatty acids 36.8       1  
Linolenic acid C18:3 % fatty acids 4.1       1  
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 2.2 3.3 0.4 11.5 10  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 3.3 0.7 1.7 4.3 13  
Potassium g/kg DM 5.3   4.2 6 3  
Sodium g/kg DM 0.12       1  
Magnesium g/kg DM 1.9   1.8 2 3  
Manganese mg/kg DM 15   15 16 2  
Zinc mg/kg DM 56   55 56 2  
Copper mg/kg DM 7   7 7 2  
Iron mg/kg DM 45   45 46 2  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 64.9         *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 62.5       1 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 9.6         *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 58.3         *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 62       1 *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 65       1 *
a (N) % 39       1  
b (N) % 35       1  
c (N) h-1 0.13       1  
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 65.9   63.1 67.6 3  
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 12.3   11.5 12.6 3 *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 11.9         *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 9.2         *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 70.7   66.9 73.9 3  
Rabbit nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, rabbit % 67.9         *
DE rabbit MJ/kg DM 12.7         *
MEn rabbit MJ/kg DM 12.2         *
Nitrogen digestibility, rabbit % 65.9         *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


AFZ, 2017; Albar, 2006; Amelchanka et al., 2010; Anderson et al., 1984; CIRAD, 1991; Crawford et al., 1978; Fang et al., 2007; Farrell, 1978; Furlan et al., 2006; Gupta et al., 2002; Jacob et al., 2008; Kara, 2014; Leiber et al., 2012; Mulholland et al., 1995; Pomeranz et al., 1972; Tiwari et al., 2006; Tor-Agbidye et al., 1990; Voris et al., 1940; Wang et al., 2004; Wang et al., 2008

Last updated on 24/08/2019 01:37:37

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 88.3 2 86.7 89.8 9  
Crude protein % DM 34.6 4.1 27.5 40.9 9  
Crude fibre % DM 9.3 3.5 4.7 13.4 5  
Neutral detergent fibre % DM 40.6         *
Acid detergent fibre % DM 12         *
Lignin % DM 3.4         *
Ether extract % DM 8.8 2.4 6.3 12.6 9  
Ash % DM 6.2 1.4 4.6 8.4 8  
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 25.5   12.3 38.6 2  
Total sugars % DM 6.1   4.7 6.9 4  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 20.6         *
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Alanine g/16g N 4       1  
Arginine g/16g N 9.8       1  
Aspartic acid g/16g N 8.8       1  
Cystine g/16g N 2       1  
Glutamic acid g/16g N 16.9       1  
Glycine g/16g N 5.6       1  
Histidine g/16g N 2.4       1  
Isoleucine g/16g N 3.3       1  
Leucine g/16g N 5.8       1  
Lysine g/16g N 5.7       1  
Methionine g/16g N 1.8       1  
Methionine+cystine g/16g N 3.7       1 *
Phenylalanine g/16g N 4.3       1  
Phenylalanine+tyrosine g/16g N 7       1 *
Proline g/16g N 3.3       1  
Serine g/16g N 4.6       1  
Threonine g/16g N 3.5       1  
Tryptophan g/16g N 0.6       1  
Tyrosine g/16g N 2.7       1  
Valine g/16g N 4.5       1  
Fatty acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Palmitic acid C16:0 % fatty acids 16.6          
Stearic acid C18:0 % fatty acids 1.6          
Oleic acid C18:1 % fatty acids 35.8          
Linoleic acid C18:2 % fatty acids 36.8          
Linolenic acid C18:3 % fatty acids 4.1          
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.8 5  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 16.3 3.4 13.3 21.5 5  
Potassium g/kg DM 15.4   14.2 17 4  
Magnesium g/kg DM 6.3   5.8 6.9 4  
Manganese mg/kg DM 50   39 58 4  
Zinc mg/kg DM 85   71 106 4  
Copper mg/kg DM 11   4 15 4  
Iron mg/kg DM 83   60 107 4  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 73.5         *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 73.9         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 11.9         *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 75.1         *
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 70.3         *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 14.5         *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 13.6         *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 9.7         *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 78.8         *
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
AMEn cockerel MJ/kg DM 13.6         *
AMEn broiler MJ/kg DM 13.2         *
Rabbit nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, rabbit % 72.6         *
DE rabbit MJ/kg DM 15         *
MEn rabbit MJ/kg DM 13.8         *
Nitrogen digestibility, rabbit % 64.3         *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


AFZ, 2017; Steadman et al., 2001

Last updated on 24/08/2019 01:42:16

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 88.6 2.2 87.3 91 8  
Crude protein % DM 18.3 2.8 13.9 23 9  
Crude fibre % DM 12.3 5.3 7.6 22.3 6  
Neutral detergent fibre % DM 52.5         *
Acid detergent fibre % DM 15.7         *
Lignin % DM 4.5         *
Ether extract % DM 5.5 0.9 4.3 6.4 5  
Ash % DM 4.6 0.5 4 5.3 5  
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 40.8   32.1 49.9 4  
Total sugars % DM 2.3   2.1 2.5 2  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 19.3         *
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Alanine g/16g N 4.2       1  
Arginine g/16g N 9.7       1  
Aspartic acid g/16g N 10.8       1  
Cystine g/16g N 1.5       1  
Glutamic acid g/16g N 19.2       1  
Glycine g/16g N 6.2       1  
Histidine g/16g N 2.8       1  
Isoleucine g/16g N 4       1  
Leucine g/16g N 6.7       1  
Lysine g/16g N 5.2       1  
Methionine g/16g N 2.3       1  
Methionine+cystine g/16g N 3.8         *
Phenylalanine g/16g N 4.7       1  
Phenylalanine+tyrosine g/16g N 7         *
Proline g/16g N 4       1  
Serine g/16g N 5       1  
Threonine g/16g N 3.9       1  
Tryptophan g/16g N 0.6          
Tyrosine g/16g N 2.3       1  
Valine g/16g N 5.1       1  
Fatty acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Palmitic acid C16:0 % fatty acids 16.6          
Stearic acid C18:0 % fatty acids 1.6          
Oleic acid C18:1 % fatty acids 35.8          
Linoleic acid C18:2 % fatty acids 36.8          
Linolenic acid C18:3 % fatty acids 4.1          
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 1.8   1.6 1.9 2  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 7.6   7 8.2 2  
Potassium g/kg DM 11.1   10.5 11.8 2  
Magnesium g/kg DM 4.3   4.1 4.6 2  
Manganese mg/kg DM 59   59 59 2  
Zinc mg/kg DM 41   38 44 2  
Copper mg/kg DM 9   9 10 2  
Iron mg/kg DM 60   59 61 2  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 66.7         *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 65.6         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 10.3         *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 65.9         *
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 63.4         *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 12.2         *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 11.7         *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 8.8         *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 61.4         *
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
AMEn cockerel MJ/kg DM 12         *
AMEn broiler MJ/kg DM 11.8         *
Rabbit nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, rabbit % 67.9         *
DE rabbit MJ/kg DM 13.1         *
MEn rabbit MJ/kg DM 12.6         *
Nitrogen digestibility, rabbit % 44.1         *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


AFZ, 2017; Pomeranz et al., 1972; Steadman et al., 2001

Last updated on 24/08/2019 01:40:36

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 88 1.7 84.6 94.2 211  
Crude protein % DM 7 2.5 3 15 219  
Crude fibre % DM 48.8 6.1 32.3 60.5 208  
Neutral detergent fibre % DM 82.7 8.4 66.4 92.6 10  
Acid detergent fibre % DM 64.7 8.3 51.8 75.2 10  
Lignin % DM 28.2 2.6 24.9 33.3 10  
Ether extract % DM 1 0.5 0.5 1.9 10  
Ash % DM 2.6 0.5 1.8 6.7 194  
Insoluble ash % DM 0.4          
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 3 2 0.9 7.5 16  
Total sugars % DM 1          
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 19.4         *
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Alanine g/16g N 5       1  
Arginine g/16g N 5.4       1  
Aspartic acid g/16g N 10.7       1  
Cystine g/16g N 0.5       1  
Glutamic acid g/16g N 13.3       1  
Glycine g/16g N 7.5       1  
Histidine g/16g N 3.9       1  
Isoleucine g/16g N 5.1       1  
Leucine g/16g N 8.3       1  
Lysine g/16g N 6.3       1  
Methionine g/16g N 2.9       1  
Methionine+cystine g/16g N 3.4         *
Phenylalanine g/16g N 4.3       1  
Phenylalanine+tyrosine g/16g N 6.1         *
Proline g/16g N 4.2       1  
Serine g/16g N 5.7       1  
Threonine g/16g N 5.4       1  
Tryptophan g/16g N 0.6          
Tyrosine g/16g N 1.8       1  
Valine g/16g N 6.6       1  
Fatty acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Myristic acid C14:0 % fatty acids 0          
Palmitic acid C16:0 % fatty acids 16.6          
Stearic acid C18:0 % fatty acids 1.6          
Oleic acid C18:1 % fatty acids 35.8          
Linoleic acid C18:2 % fatty acids 36.8          
Linolenic acid C18:3 % fatty acids 4.1          
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 2.2   0.7 3.2 4  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.2          
Potassium g/kg DM 3.1          
Sodium g/kg DM 0.23   0.11 0.47 3  
Chlorine g/kg DM 0.8   0.7 1.1 3  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 45          
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 43.1         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 6.7         *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 35.6         *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 60          
Dry matter degradability (effective, k=6%) % 25         *
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 11.8         *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 2.3         *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 2         *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 0.6         *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 21.2         *
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
AMEn cockerel MJ/kg DM 2.2         *
AMEn broiler MJ/kg DM 2.2         *
Rabbit nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, rabbit % 20.4         *
DE rabbit MJ/kg DM 4         *
MEn rabbit MJ/kg DM 3.8         *
Nitrogen digestibility, rabbit % 40.7         *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


AFZ, 2017; Pomeranz et al., 1972

Last updated on 24/08/2019 01:39:55

Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., Maxin G., Lebas F., 2019. Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) grain and by-products. Feedipedia, a programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/25140 Last updated on August 25, 2019, 0:50

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