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Replacing human-edible feed ingredients with by-products increases net food production efficiency in dairy cows

Karlsson, Johanna; Sporndly, Rolf; Lindberg, Mikaela; Holtenius, Kjell


Global demand for food is increasing, and use of large amounts of potentially human-edible feedstuffs for dairy cows is an important concern. The present study examined whether feeding a by-product-based concentrate combined with high-quality grass silage to high-producing dairy cows affected feed intake and milk production compared with a conventional diet, as well as the effect on efficiency of human food production. In a changeover experiment with four 21-d periods, 24 dairy cows in mid-lactation were offered 9.6 kg of dry matter per day with 1 of 4 concentrates and highquality grass silage ad libitum. The control concentrate was based on cereal grain (wheat, oat, and barley) and soybean meal, whereas the 3 by-product-based concentrates contained sugar beet pulp in combination with mainly heat-treated rapeseed meal, distillers grain, or a mixture of both. All diets were formulated to be isoenergetic and isonitrogenous. The cows had 10-fold higher starch intake when fed the control diet than when fed the by-product-based concentrates. Silage intake (13 kg of dry matter/d) and milk production (33 kg of energy-corrected milk/d) were not affected by the change in diet. Therefore, replacing cereals and soybean meal with human-inedible by-products in a high-quality forage diet to dairy cows increased net food protein production substantially without lowering milk production.


forage; distillers grain; rapeseed meal; sugar beet pulp

Publicerad i

Journal of Dairy Science
2018, Volym: 101, nummer: 8, sidor: 7146-7155