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A farm based comparion of grass/white clover with nitrogen based system for dairy cattle

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 November 2017

J A Bax
Affiliation:
The West of Scotland College Crichton Royal Farm, Dumfries, DG1 4SZ
D J Roberts
Affiliation:
The West of Scotland College Crichton Royal Farm, Dumfries, DG1 4SZ
C Thomas
Affiliation:
The West of Scotland College Crichton Royal Farm, Dumfries, DG1 4SZ Animal Production Department, Auuchincruive, Ayr, KA6 5HW
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Extract

There is increasing interest in the use of white clover rich swards in dairy cattle systems in response to evironmental pressures and the introduction of milk quotas. White clover (Trifolium repens) in association with Rhizobium bacteria in a mixed sward receiving no fertilizer nitrogen can produce yields equivalent to a grass sward receiving approximately 200 kg N/ha/annum. Field scale cutting experiments (Roberts et al, 1989) have deomstrated that under an intensive 3-cut silage regime a grass/white clover sward receiving no nitrogenous fertilizer can yield 0.71 of the DM herbage output of a grass sward receiving between 320 and 340 kg N/ha/annum. Feeding experiments have demonstrated the ability of white clover to improve milk yield and composition (Castle et al, 1983, Thomson, 1984). To further investigate the potential of white clover for dairy cattle a systems study is being conducted. This paper summarises the performance of the two herds in the first year.

Type
Dairy Production
Copyright
Copyright © The British Society of Animal Production 1990

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References

Castle, ME, Reid, D and Watson, J N (1983). Silage and milk production: Studies with diets containing white clover silage. Grass and Forage Science, Vol, 38 pp 193200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Roberts, D J, Frame, J and Leaver, J D (1989). A comparison of grass/white clover sward with a grass sward plus fertilizer nitrogen under a three-cut silage regime. Research and Development in Agriculture, Vol 6, pp 147150.Google Scholar
Thomson, D J (1984). The nutritive value of white clover. Occasional Symposium, British Grassland Society, 16, pp 7892.Google Scholar

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