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White or red clover-grass silage in organic dairy milk production:Grassland productivity and milk production responses with different levels of concentrate

Steinshamn, Håvard and Thuen, Erling (2008) White or red clover-grass silage in organic dairy milk production:Grassland productivity and milk production responses with different levels of concentrate. Livestock Science, 119, pp. 202-215.

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Document available online at: http://doi:10.1016/j.livsci.2008.04.004


Red (RC) or white (WC) clover were grown in mixture with grasses, ensiled and offered to dairy cows in early lactation over two successive years (48 cows per year) to compare grassland yield, feed intake, milk production and milk quality. The crops were ensiled in round bales and proportional mixtures of the second and third cut prepared each year were used to ensure that the silage treatments were representative of the crop. In addition to silage type, concentrate supplementation, without and with (10 kg/day), was included as a factor in a 2×2 factorial, continuous experiment. Total dry matter (DM) yield, silage chemical composition and totalDMintake was hardly affected by silage type. There was no effect of silage type on milk yield and milk constituents either, except for higher milk protein content (Pb0.05) onWCand higher milk fat content of C18:3n-3 (Pb0.001), C18:2n-6 (Pb0.05) fatty acids (FAs) and sum of polyunsaturated FA (Pb0.001) and lower n-6/n-3 FA ratio (Pb0.01) on RC. Concentrate supplementation increased total DM, N and net energy intakes (Pb0.001), milk yield (Pb0.001), milk fat (Pb0.01) and protein (Pb0.001) content, decreased the milk urea content (Pb0.001), and increased the milk fat content of short-and medium-chained FAs (bC16, Pb0.001), C18:0 (Pb0.01) and C18:2n-6 (Pb0.001), decreased the content of C16:0 (Pb0.05), C18:1t11 (Pb0.001) and C18:3n-3 (Pb0.001), and increased the n-6/n-3 FA ratio (Pb0.001). The effect of concentrate supplementation was not affected by silage type, except for milk protein content where the positive effect of supplementation was stronger onWCthan on RC diets (Pb0.05). This study illustrates that the white- and red clover-grass mixtures investigated were widely similar with regard to their effects on grassland yield, silage intake and milk production and milk constituents, except for a higher milk fat content of C18:3n-3 and C18:2n-6 and lower n- /n-3 FA ratio on red clover diets. Our findings also show that N conversion efficiency from feed to milk on pure forage diets is more sensitive to changes in dietary protein intake than silage diets containing cereal based concentrates

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Organic farming; Legumes; Silage; Concentrate supplementation; Milk production; Fatty acids
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Research affiliation: Norway > NMBU - Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Norway > Bioforsk - Norwegian Institute for Agriculture and Environmental Research > Bioforsk Organic Food and Farming Division
Deposited By: Steinshamn, Dr Håvard
ID Code:13811
Deposited On:03 Sep 2008
Last Modified:01 Jun 2010 10:40
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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