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Feed intake, milk production and composition of crossbred cows fed with insect-protected Bollgard II® cottonseed containing Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab proteins

  • K. K. Singhal (a1), A. K. Tyagi (a1), Y. S. Rajput (a1), M. Singh (a1), H. Kaur (a1), T. Perez (a2) and G. F. Hartnell (a2)...

Abstract

Twenty crossbred lactating multiparous cows were used in a 28-day study to compare dry matter intake (DMI), milk yield, milk composition and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) protein concentrations in plasma when fed diets containing Bollgard II® cottonseed (BGII) or a control non-genetically modified isogenic cottonseed (CON). Bollgard II cottonseed contains the Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab insecticidal proteins that protect cotton plants from feeding damage caused by certain lepidopteran insects. Cows were assigned randomly to the BGII or CON treatments after a 2-week adjustment period. Cows consumed a concentrate containing 40% crushed cottonseed according to milk yield and green maize forage ad libitum. All cows received the same diet but with different crushed cottonseed sources. Cottonseed was included to provide approximately 2.9 kg per cow daily (dry matter basis). The ingredient composition of the concentrate was 40% crushed cottonseed, 15% groundnut cake, 20% corn, 22% wheat bran, 1% salt and 2% mineral mixture. Milk and blood plasma were analyzed for Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab proteins. DMI, BW, milk yield and milk components did not differ between cows on the BGII and CON treatments. Although milk yield and milk fat percentage were not affected by treatment, 4% fat-corrected milk (FCM) production and FCM/kg DMI for cows on the BGII treatment (14.0 kg/cow per day, 1.12 kg/kg) were significantly improved compared with cows on the CON treatment (12.1 kg/cow per day, 0.97 kg/kg). Gossypol contents in BGII cottonseed and conventional cottonseed were similar. Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab2 proteins in Bollgard II cottonseed were 5.53 and 150.8 μg/g, respectively, and were not detected in the milk or plasma samples. The findings suggested that Bollgard II cottonseed can replace conventional cottonseed in dairy cattle diets with no adverse effects on performance and milk composition.

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Keywords

Feed intake, milk production and composition of crossbred cows fed with insect-protected Bollgard II® cottonseed containing Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab proteins

  • K. K. Singhal (a1), A. K. Tyagi (a1), Y. S. Rajput (a1), M. Singh (a1), H. Kaur (a1), T. Perez (a2) and G. F. Hartnell (a2)...

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