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An evaluation of kikuyu-clover pastures as a dairy production system. 2. Milk production and system comparisons

Davison, T.M., Frampton, P.J., Orr, W.N., Silver, B.A. and Williams, D. (1997) An evaluation of kikuyu-clover pastures as a dairy production system. 2. Milk production and system comparisons. Tropical Grasslands, 31 (1). pp. 15-23. ISSN 0049-4763


Article Link: https://www.tropicalgrasslands.info/public/journal...


Milk production from an irrigated, perennial kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum) cv. Whittet - Haifa white clover (Trifolium repens cv. Haifa) - Safari clover (T. semipilosum cv. Safari) pasture was evaluated in 6 treatments, at a range of stocking rates (2.5, 3.75 and 5.0 cows/ha) and nitrogen fertiliser levels (0, 150, 300 and 600 kg/ha N) in an incomplete factorial design. A seventh treatment consisting mainly of annual ryegrass (Lolium spp.) pasture was stocked at 5 cows/ha with 400 kg/ha N (5/ANN). Pastures in the study were stocked continuously over 3 years. Milk production per cow meaned over the 3 years was 4649 kg at 2.5 cows/ha, 4115 kg at 3.75 cows/ha and 3861 kg at 5 cows/ha on perennial pasture, and 4026 kg at 5 cows/ha on annual pastures. Milk yield per ha (MYH, kg) was linearly related to stocking rate (SR, cows/ha) by the equation: MYH = 3712 + 3153 SR (r 2 = 0.63; P<0.05). Milk yield was not significantly changed by nitrogen fertiliser at 3.75 or 5 cows/ha. Milk yield per cow (MY) was related to the clover % in the diet (CLD) with CLD in February giving the best prediction for lactation milk yield (MY, kg/cow): MY = 3602 + 47.7 CLD (r 2 = 0.42; P<0.01). There was a trend for cows stocked at 5 cows/ha on kikuyu-clover pasture to be lighter than those on other treatments. Milk protein % (MP) declined with increasing N fertiliser (NF, kg/ha N) input by the equation: MP = 3.03-0.0002 NF (r 2 = 0.85; P<0.01). The lower annual cost of perennial kikuyu-clover pasture, its comparable milk production with an annual ryegrass system and the ability to withstand high stocking rates make it a viable alternative for subtropical dairy systems.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Plant culture > Field crops > Forage crops. Feed crops
Animal culture > Cattle > Dairying
Animal culture > Feeds and feeding. Animal nutrition
Live Archive:02 Apr 2024 04:40
Last Modified:02 Apr 2024 04:40

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