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Effect of annual stocking rates in grass and maize+rye system on production by dairy cows

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The effects on the production from dairy cows of two annual stocking rates (2.5 and 3.0 cows ha−1) and two systems (grass and maize+rye) were examined. The experiement included three treatments: Treatment A was a grass system with an annual stocking rate of 2.5 cows ha−1 and Treatments B and C were maize+rye systems with a stocking rate of 2.5 and 3.0 cows ha−1 respectively. There were twenty cows per treatment and the total area of the system was 22 ha. Treatment A had 4.05 ha of grass silage area, Treatment B had 0.8 ha of grass silage area and 3.2 ha designated to silage crops (maize+rye), whereas Treatment C had 0.4 ha of grass silage area and 2.7 ha of silage crops. Maize silage had a higher nutritive value that the rye or grass silage. The greter production from the maize+rye crops allowed the silage needs of the cows to be met in systems with a seasonal herbage production when stocking rates are higher than for grass-only systems. Rye plus maize system allowed higher stocking rates (2.7 cows per ha) than grass-only system (2.1 cows per ha) because of more efficident use of land resources. Lower stocking rates and grass-only systems increased milk production per cow but not per hectare in comparison with rye plus maize systems.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Departamento de lngeniería Agroforestal y Producción Vegetal, Santiago de Compostela University, Spain 2: Agrarian Research Centre Mabegondo, Apdo. 10, 15080, La Coruña, spain

Publication date: 1998-06-01

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