Short-Term Effect of Daily Herbage Allowance Restriction on Pasture Condition and the Performance of Grazing Dairy Cows during Autumn

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Merino, V. M., Balocchi, O. A., Rivero, M. J. and Pulido, R. G. 2019. Short-Term Effect of Daily Herbage Allowance Restriction on Pasture Condition and the Performance of Grazing Dairy Cows during Autumn. Animals. 10 (1), p. 62.

AuthorsMerino, V. M., Balocchi, O. A., Rivero, M. J. and Pulido, R. G.
Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the short-term effects of daily herbage allowance (DHA, defined as the product of pre-grazing herbage mass and offered area per animal) on pasture conditions and milk production of Holstein-Friesian dairy cows. Forty-four early lactation dairy cows were randomly assigned to one of four treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial design that tested two levels of DHA (17 and 25 kg DM/cow.day) and two levels of maize silage supplementation (MSS, 4.5 and 9 kg DM/cow.day) over a 77-day period. Low DHA decreased the post-grazing herbage mass from 1546 to 1430 kg DM/ha and the compressed sward height from 5 to 4.4 cm, while the grazing efficiency remained unaffected. Low DHA induced a faster herbage mass reduction, while the sward-height and pasture characteristics did not differ from the high DHA regime. Low DHA decreased the tiller production rates and daily lamina growth, while the leaf-production rate was not affected by the DHA. Daily increases of herbage mass were greater in the high DHA than in the low DHA treatments.
Individual milk production and milk protein concentration decreased at a low DHA compared to high DHA, while the milk fat concentration was greater and the milk output per hectare increased by 1510 kg. Neither the MSS level nor the interaction DHA by the MSS level had any effect on the sward characteristics or the productivity of the cows. From these results, it is suggested that,in a high-quality pasture, using 17 kg DM/cow.day was appropriate for improving both herbage utilization and milk production per hectare while maintaining the short-term conditions of a pasture grazed by dairy cows in the autumn.

KeywordsDairy cows; Grazing management; Milk production; Grazing efficiency
Year of Publication2019
JournalAnimals
Journal citation10 (1), p. 62
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.3390/ani10010062
Web address (URL)https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/10/1/62
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
CONICYT
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 2 (WP2) - Adaptive management systems for improved efficiency and nutritional quality
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online29 Dec 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted23 Dec 2019
PublisherMDPI
ISSN2076-2615
Other fileShort-Term%20Effect%20of%20Daily%20Herbage%20Allowance%20Restriction%20on%20Pasture%20Condition%20and%20the%20Performance%20of%20Grazing%20Dairy%20Cows%20during%20Autumn.pdf

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