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|Title:||Feeding strategies for small-scale dairy systems based on perennial (Lolium perenne) or annual (Lolium multiflorum) ryegrass in the central highlands of Mexico|
|Authors:||Heredia Nava, Darwin|
Espinoza Ortega, Angelica
González Esquivel, C.E.
Arriaga Jordán, Carlos M.
|Keywords:||small-scale dairy farming|
|Publisher:||Tropical Animal Health and Production (2007) 39:179–188|
|Citation:||Heredia-Nava, D., Espinoza-Ortega, a., González-Esquivel, C. E., & Arriaga-Jordán, C. M. (2007). Feeding strategies for small-scale dairy systems based on perennial (Lolium perenne) or annual (Lolium multiflorum) ryegrass in the central highlands of Mexico. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 39(3), 179–188. doi:10.1007/s11250-007-9003-7|
|Abstract:||Small-scale dairying is an option for campesinos in Mexico. The costs of feeding are high and strategies based on quality forages are a priority. The performance, agronomic variables and feeding costs were evaluated for dairy cows continuously grazing perennial ryegrass–white clover for 9 h/day (PRG) or fed cut herbage from annual ryegrass for 8 weeks followed by 9 h/day for 6 weeks on a tethered rotational grazing pattern (ARG). All cows received 3 kg/day of an 18% crude protein (CP) concentrate. A 14-week split-plot on-farm experiment was designed with 10 cows from two participating farmers, and 1.5 ha per strategy. Milk yield was recorded weekly and milk composition, live weight and body condition score were recorded every 14 days. Net herbage accumulation was greater for ARG (8222 kg organic matter (OM)/ha) than for PRG (5915 kg OM/ha) (p<0.05), with higher CP in PRG (p<0.05). Milk yield was 19 kg/cow per day for PRG and 15.9 kg/ cow per day for ARG (p>0.05). Over 14 weeks, PRG produced 1422 kg more milk. There were no differences for live weight or condition score (p>0.05), but linear regression shows a live weight gain of 0.200 kg/cow per day for PRG. Protein and fat content showed no differences (p>0.05), but milk fat content in PRG was below standard. ARG had 60% higher costs, and margins were 38% higher in PRG. ARG has a place in rain-fed fields. The results provide viable options for improving these systems that may be suitable in their socio-economic context and their social and personal objectives.|
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