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Hoekstra, N.J., G. Holshof, R.L.G. Zom, B. Philipsen, R. Schils and N.J.M. van Eekeren. 2020. The Effect of Grazing System and Level of Concentrate Protein Feeding on Milk Production and N Use Efficiency of Dairy Cows on Peat Meadows. Sustainability. 12(3):1055.

Number of pages: 16

DOI: 10.3390/su12031055

Type of document: Journal Article

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More information on authors/freelancers connected to LBI :
Nick J.M. van Eekeren Ph.D.;
Nyncke J. Hoekstra Ph.D.


Language of document: English

Title in English: The Effect of Grazing System and Level of Concentrate Protein Feeding on Milk Production and N Use Efficiency of Dairy Cows on Peat Meadows

Abstract / summary in English:

The aim of the study was to assess the effect of two contrasting grazing systems, strip-grazing and kurzrasen, at a high stocking rate on herbage intake and milk production and quality on a peat meadow. Additionally, we assessed the effect of the level of crude protein (CP) fed in concentrate on milk production and N use efficiency. Even at the relatively high stocking rates, cows still achieved substantial fresh grass intake (on average >6 kg dry matter cow−1 day−1) from both systems. Despite the lower level of gross grass production under kurzrasen management, the difference in milk production between kurzrasen and strip-grazing was small and non-significant. Feeding concentrate with a lower CP level, had no negative impact on milk yield, provided that the CP content of the total ration remained above ~150 g kg−1 DM and milk urea content was above ~18 mg 100 g−1 milk. Reducing the CP content in the concentrate significantly increased the N use efficiency, and both were strongly related to the milk urea content. Therefore, optimising the use of milk urea as a management tool on dairy farms, also during the grazing season, could reduce N losses to the environment, while maintaining productivity.


Keywords in English: kurzrasen; strip-grazing; FPCM; fat and protein corrected milk yield; milk urea
The Effect of Grazing System and Level of Concentrate Protein Feeding on Milk Production and N Use Efficiency of Dairy Cows on Peat Meadows