Milk production and enteric methane emissions by dairy cows grazing fertilized perennial ryegrass pasture with or without inclusion of white clover

Journal of Dairy Science
D Enriquez-HidalgoD Hennessy


An experiment was undertaken to investigate the effect of white clover inclusion in grass swards (GWc) compared with grass-only (GO) swards receiving high nitrogen fertilization and subjected to frequent and tight grazing on herbage and dairy cow productivity and enteric methane (CH4) emissions. Thirty cows were allocated to graze either a GO or GWc sward (n=15) from April 17 to October 31, 2011. Fresh herbage [16 kg of dry matter (DM)/cow] and 1 kg of concentrate/cow were offered daily. Herbage DM intake (DMI) was estimated on 3 occasions (May, July, and September) during which 17 kg of DM/cow per day was offered (and concentrate supplementation was withdrawn). In September, an additional 5 cows were added to each sward treatment (n=20) and individual CH4 emissions were estimated using the sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) technique. Annual clover proportion (± SE) in the GWc swards was 0.20 ± 0.011. Swards had similar pregrazing herbage mass (1,800 ± 96 kg of DM/ha) and herbage production (13,110 ± 80 kg of DM/ha). The GWc swards tended to have lower DM and NDF contents but greater CP content than GO swards, but only significant differences were observed in the last part of the grazing season. Cows had similar milk and milk solids yi...Continue Reading


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