Nitrogen partitioning and milk production of dairy cows grazing simple and diverse pastures
Research was conducted to examine the effects of a diverse pasture mix on dry matter intake, milk yield, and N partitioning of lactating dairy cows. A pasture containing only ryegrass and white clover (RG), or high sugar ryegrass and white clover (HS), was compared with a diverse pasture mix (HSD) including chicory, plantain, lotus, high-sugar ryegrass, and white clover. The experiment was conducted over a 10-d period using 3 groups of 12 cows in late lactation. No difference was observed in dry matter (14.3 kg of dry matter/cow per day) or N (583 g of N/cow per day) intake between treatments. The cows grazing the HSD pasture had an increased milk yield (16.9 kg/d) compared with those grazing the simple RG and HS pastures (15.2 and 14.7 kg/d, respectively). However, no differences were observed in milk solids yield for the 3 treatments. A tendency toward greater milk protein yields in the HSD group resulted in improved N use efficiency for milk of 20.4% from the cows fed HSD, compared with 17.8 and 16.7% from cows in the RG and HS treatments, respectively. Urinary N excretion was lower from the cows fed HSD, at 353.8 g/d, compared with 438.3 and 426.6 g/d for cows fed RG and HS, respectively. These results suggest that the use of pastures containing chicory, lotus, and plantain can contribute to the goal of reducing N losses from cows in late lactation.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsnitrogen partitioning; milk yield; pasture species; dairy cow; Dairy & Animal Science; Milk; Feces; Animals; Cattle; Melilotus; Lolium; Nitrogen; Urea; Creatinine; Diet; Lactation; Dairying; Female
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