Feeding diets with fodder beet decreased methane emissions from dry and lactating dairy cows in grazing systems
Jonker, A.; Scobie, D. R.; Dynes, R.; Edwards, Grant; De Klein, C. A. M.; Hague, Helen; McAuliffe, Russel J.; Taylor, A.; Knight, T.; Waghorn, G. C.
Fodder beet (Beta vulgaris L.) has a very high readily fermentable carbohydrate concentration, which could affect rumen fermentation and reduce enteric methane (CH₄) emissions. The objective of the current study was to estimate CH₄ emissions from dry dairy cows grazing either fodder beet supplemented with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)-dominated pasture silage (6 kg DM/cow/day; FB+Sil) or forage kale (Brassica oleracea L.) supplemented with barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) straw (3 kg DM/cow/day; kale+Str; dry cows, Experiment 1), and from dairy cows in early lactation grazing perennial ryegrass-dominated pasture alone (pasture) or supplemented with fodder beet bulbs (3 kg DM/cow/day; past+FB; lactating cows; Experiment 2). Methane measurements were performed using GreenFeed units (C-Lock Inc., Rapid City, SD, USA) for 40 days in August-September 2015 (Experiment 1) and for 22 days in November-December 2015 (Experiment 2), from 45 and 31 Holstein-Friesian × Jersey dairy cows in Experiments 1 and 2, respectively. Dry cows grazing FB+Sil in Experiment 1 produced 18% less CH₄ (g/day) and had 28% lower CH₄ yield (g/kg DM intake; P < 0.001) than did cows grazing kale+Str. Lactating cows grazing past+FB in Experiment 2 produced 18% less CH₄ and had 16% lower CH₄ intensity (g/kg fat and protein-corrected milk production; P < 0.01) than did cows grazing pasture alone, while milk production and composition were similar for the two groups. In conclusion, feeding fodder beet at ∼50% and 20% of the diet of dry and lactating dairy cows in pastoral systems can mitigate CH₄ emissions.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsforage kale; greenhouse gas; readily fermentable carbohydrates; ryegrass pasture; supplement; wintering system; Agronomy & Agriculture
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