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Research article2015Peer reviewedOpen access

Cold-pressed rapeseed cake or full fat rapeseed to organic dairy cows - milk production and profitability

Johansson, Birgitta; Kumm, Karl-Ivar; Åkerlind, Maria; Nadeau, Elisabet


The interest in growing and feeding locally produced feeds is increasing. Case studies in Sweden have shown that feeds grown on-farm are more environmentally favourable than imported feeds, partly due to the lower energy requirements for transport. Full fat rapeseed (FFRS) and its co-product cold-pressed rapeseed cake (CRC) can both be locally produced, and CRC has been proven to be suitable for dairy cows. In both feeds, fat content limits the amount that can be supplemented in the diet, and less FFRS than CRC can be used. However, in a previous study with scenario calculations, CRC showed lower profitability than FFRS. The present study examined how milk yield and milk composition were influenced by feeding FFRS compared with CRC in organic diets and calculated the farm profitability on each occasion. The study was performed using 56 Swedish Holstein cows in different lactation stages. Diets were 100% organic, including a mixed ration (silage, grains and minerals) fed ad libitum and a restricted amount of concentrates (field beans together with either CRC or ground FFRS). There were no significant differences in milk yield and composition between the diets. However, cows fed FFRS had a higher intake of the mixed ration than cows fed CRC. Cows fed CRC had the highest profitability in later lactation, whereas the diets were economically similar during early lactation.


Cake; Dairy cow; Organic milk production; Profitability; Rapeseed

Published in

Organic Agriculture
2015, Volume: 5, number: 1, pages: 29-38