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Ash is the mineral portion of forage that remains after the complete burning of combustible material during laboratory analysis. The ash content in a forage can come from both internal (what the plant is made of) and external (like dirt when forage is harvested) sources. While not a direct measurement of nutrient content in forage, ash is used to determine the total digestible nutrients (TDN) which is one way of determining the energy content in forage.