Poster Number 364
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
George R. Brown Convention Center, Exhibit Hall E
Reliable persistence of high quality legumes and grasses reduces risk in dairy production on pasture and in confinement in northern environments. Mixtures of kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum Bieb.) with reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) persist indefinitely in Wisconsin, USA. Two experiments were conducted to test the performance of dairy cattle on kura clover-reed canarygrass mixtures. In the first, Holstein cows, managed under a rotational grazing system, grazed binary mixtures of kura clover with reed canarygrass, tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) or Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) with a daily pasture allowance of 23 kg DM. All cows were offered 7.8 kg DM/d corn-soybean meal supplement. Milk production was similar (28.1 kg/d) for the three pastures. In the second experiment, DM intake was slightly higher (24.2 kg vs 22.9 kg/d) and milk production similar (34.6 kg vs 33.4 kg/d) for cows fed alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) or kura clover-reed canarygrass silage. Although kura clover-reed canarygrass diets were higher in NDF than alfalfa silage diets, alfalfa fiber was less digestible and cows produced similarly when fed diets containing approximately 60% forage. The mixture of kura clover and reed canarygrass is a promising alternative pasture and silage crop for northern environments.