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Feed intake and milk yield of cows fed wheat whole crop silages with and without undersown ryegrass

Feed intake and milk yield of cows fed wheat whole crop silages with and without undersown ryegrass

Bayerisches Landwirtschaftliches Jahrbuch 67(1): 3-14

Winter wheat-whole crop silages (WCS) were harvested at the late doughy stage with (WCSI) or without (WCSII) ryegrass as underseed. The total dry matter (DM) yield of fresh harvested material was not influenced of underseed of ryegrass and was near 125-130 dt per ha. The yields of grain were uniformly 60-62 dt per ha. WCSI had a significant lower DM content of 43% in comparison to 47% of WCSII. Both silages had a similar content of crude protein (10.1% i. DM), of crude fiber (22.9% i. DM) and of starch (27.4% i. DM). The digestibility of the organic matter (measured by sheep or by heifers, respectively) of WCSI differed slightly (66.9% or 59.6%, respectively) in comparison to WCSII (69.3% or 63.5%, respectively). Using the digestibility values obtained with sheep the net energy values averaged 6.0 MJNEL per kg DM and with heifers 5.4 MJ NEL per kg DM. The mean daily silage intake per cow (mean live weight of 640 kg) feeding WCSI or II as single roughage ad libitum together with an average of 5.0 kg DM of concentrate was 12.7 kg DM for both treatments. Milk yield, milk fat and protein content were not influenced by treatments and mean values across treatments were 18.3 kg milk at 4.24% fat and 3.63% protein. The net energy values (without concentrate) calculated gave maintenance plus 10 to 12 kg of milk for WCSI and II, respectively. By an underseed of ryegrass, two further cuttings of ryegrass were possible, attaining to a total additional DM yield of nearly 50 dt DM per ha. In comparison to that there was an only cutting of ryegrass with a total additional yield of 20 dt per ha, when it had been seeded after harvesting wheat as WCS.

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