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Milk production from grass silage diets: effects of silage characteristics and the amount of supplementary concentrate

  • K. Aston (a1), C. Thomas (a1), S. R. Daley (a1), J. D. Sutton (a1) and M. S. Dhanoa (a1)...


High digestibility ryegrass was ensiled using either good methods including formic acid application (HDG) or poor methods without formic acid (HDP). Low digestibility ryegrass (LDG) and lucerne (LUC) were ensiled using similar methods to HDG. Digestible organic matter in the dry matter (DM) in vivo (DOMD) for HDG, HDP, LDG and LUC were 0·756, 0·774, 0·645 and 0·562 respectively. Silages were offered ad libitum to 40 HolsteinFriesian cows in two Latin-square design experiments during weeks 8 to 22 of lactation either alone (experiment 1) or with 3, 6, 9 or 12 kg concentrate DM per day (experiment 2). Relative intakes of silage given alone were respectively 1·00, 0·44, 0·98 and 0·79. Low intake of HDP could not be predicted from silage analysis. In experiment 2, DM intake increased by 0·11 kg and milk yield by 0·24 kg for each 0·010 change in grass silage DOMD. Intake of HDG, LDG and LUC declined linearly with increasing concentrate, on HDP the effect was non-linear and intake increased up to the 6 kg level.

In experiment 1, milk and protein yields were greatest on HDG, protein yield was higher on LDG than LUC and fat concentration higher on HDP and LUC. With supplementation milk yield was greatest on HDG up to the 6 kg level, at higher levels differences between silages were not significant. Fat concentration was highest on LDG and protein highest on HDG and lowest on LUC. On all silages giving the highest concentrate level reduced the concentration and yield of fat. Protein concentration increased up to the 9 kg level. Fat plus protein yields reached a maximum on HDG with 6 kg concentrate DM per day and with 9 kg on the remaining silages.



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Milk production from grass silage diets: effects of silage characteristics and the amount of supplementary concentrate

  • K. Aston (a1), C. Thomas (a1), S. R. Daley (a1), J. D. Sutton (a1) and M. S. Dhanoa (a1)...


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