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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Whole lactation production responses in high-yielding dairy cows using high-quality grass/clover silage

Patel, Mikaela; Wredle, Ewa; Sporndly, Eva; Bertilsson, Jan


BACKGROUNDLimiting the use of purchased concentrate for livestock and replacing it with home-grown forage without compromising milk production can offer benefits in both organic and conventional dairy systems. A full lactation trial was conducted with 92 cows over two years comparing three diets, each differing in the mean forage proportion over the lactation, 500 (500F), 600 (600F) and 700 (700F) g kg(-1) dry matter (DM) respectively. The diets were designed to represent common conventional feeding, current regulations for organic production and more extreme high-forage-based production respectively. The aims were to determine the effects of forage proportion in the diet on milk production and feed utilisation.RESULTSCompared with 500F, daily milk yield did not differ in 600F but was lower in 700F (31.3, 31.1 and 29.2 kg energy-corrected milk respectively). Daily dry matter intake (DMI) was similar between treatments (20.3, 20.4 and 19.9 kg in 500F, 600F and 700F respectively).CONCLUSIONIncreasing the forage proportion from 500 to 600 g kg(-1) DM did not have any adverse effects on milk production or DMI. Thus it is possible to produce the same quantity of milk with less concentrate and reduce the use of potential human feeds in dairy production. (c) 2016 Society of Chemical Industry


organic dairy production; milk yield; roughage proportion; forage-to-concentrate ratio; feed utilisation

Published in

Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
2017, Volume: 97, number: 9, pages: 2883 - 2890