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Research article2007Peer reviewed

Mixing whole-crop pea-oat silage and grass-clover silage: positive effects on intake and milk production of dairy cows

Rondahl T, Bertilsson J, Martinsson K


Forty-eight high-yielding dairy cows of the Swedish Red breed were used to examine the effects of providing pea-oat silage (P), grass-clover silage (G) and a 0.50:0.50 mixture of the silages (M) ad libitum in diets with two concentrate levels (7 or 10 kg d(-1)). A 9-week experiment, including a 2-week pre-experimental period in which the cows were all fed the same diet, and an in vivo apparent digestibility study were conducted comparing the six dietary treatments (M7, M10, P7, P10, G7, G10). Intake and digestibility of the diets and milk production and live weight of the cows were measured. The G silage [11.3 MJ ME kg(-1) dry matter (DM)] was first-cut grass herbage wilted for 24 h prior to addition of an additive, containing formic acid, propionic acid and ammonia, at 4 L t(-1) fresh matter (FM). The P forage was cut when the peas were at pod fill and ensiled directly with 6 L t(-1) FM of the same additive. The main hypothesis tested, that cows fed the M silage would produce more milk than the cows fed either the P or the G silages, was confirmed. The cows fed the M7 dietary treatment had similar milk yield and milk composition to cows offered the M10, G10 and P10 dietary treatments, and cows offered the G7 and P7 dietary treatments had lower milk and milk protein yields. This suggested that a mixed ration of pea-oat bi-crop and grass-clover silage has a concentrate-sparing effect, and that the use of pea-oat bi-crop and grass-clover silage as a mixed ration for high-yielding dairy cows can be recommended


concentrate sparing; silage mixture; milk yield; pea–oat; grass–clover; digestibility

Published in

Grass and Forage Science
2007, Volume: 62, number: 4, pages: 459-469

      SLU Authors

    • Rondahl, Tomas

      • Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
        • Martinsson, Kjell

          • Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Agricultural Science
        Animal and Dairy Science
        Veterinary Science

        Publication identifier


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