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Mid-lactation response of cows grazing pasture mixtures containing perennial plantain, white clover, and ryegrass


French, ME and Pembleton, KG and Freeman, MJ and Hills, JL, Mid-lactation response of cows grazing pasture mixtures containing perennial plantain, white clover, and ryegrass, Dairy Research Foundation: Current Topics in Dairy Production, 4-5 July, 2013, Kiama, Australia, pp. 128-133. (2013) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

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Incorporation of the perennial species plantain (Plantago lanceolata) and white clover (Trifolium repens) into pasture based dairy systems has the potential to improve the supply of highly digestible forage during times when perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) has low growth rates or poor nutritive value. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of grazing cows on pasture swards containing mixtures of plantain, white clover, and perennial ryegrass on milk production and energy and nitrogen status during mid-lactation. Four pasture sward treatments were assessed; perennial ryegrass monoculture; white clover and plantain mixture; perennial ryegrass, white clover and plantain mixture; and spatially adjacent monocultures of perennial ryegrass, white clover and plantain. Pasture swards were grazed with 4 replicate herds, balanced for age, breed, days in milk, and production to date. Each replicate was allocated 20kg DM/cow/day of pasture from their treatment sward. Liveweight, body condition score, milk yield, milk composition along with blood metabolites (non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN)) were used to assess how treatments were affecting cows in mid-lactation. There was no effect from treatment swards on milk yield between treatments during the response period. NEFA and BHB indicated no signs of negative energy balance in all treatments. BUN concentrations were equal to or higher than perennial ryegrass for the treatments containing plantain and white clover. It was concluded that the incorporation of plantain and white clover into pasture based systems will have no negative effects on production or energy and nitrogen status during mid-lactation.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:milk response, grazing, perennial pastures
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Crop and pasture production
Research Field:Agro-ecosystem function and prediction
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Pasture, browse and fodder crops
Objective Field:Sown pastures (excl. lucerne)
UTAS Author:French, ME (Mrs Marion French)
UTAS Author:Pembleton, KG (Dr Keith Pembleton)
UTAS Author:Freeman, MJ (Mr Mark Freeman)
UTAS Author:Hills, JL (Dr James Hills)
ID Code:90754
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2014-04-23
Last Modified:2014-04-23

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