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Ciencia e investigación agraria

versión On-line ISSN 0718-1620

Resumen

MERINO, Verónica; BALOCCHI, Oscar  y  PULIDO, Rubén. Effect of daily herbage allowance restriction on pasture characteristics and milk production by grazing dairy cows in spring. Cienc. Inv. Agr. [online]. 2018, vol.45, n.1, pp.21-34. ISSN 0718-1620.  http://dx.doi.org/10.7764/rcia.v45i1.1841.

The cumulative effects of daily herbage allowance (DHA) restriction on pasture characteristics and the sustainability of pasture-based dairy systems were evaluated. Sixty-four dairy cows were randomly assigned to one of two grazing treatments (20 and 30 kg DM cow-1 day-1). Milk yield and pre- and post-grazing herbage mass were recorded for every grazing event. Botanical and chemical compositions of the pasture were evaluated. Low DHA increased the stocking rate by 0.7 cows ha-1 and consequently increased grazing efficiency from 41 to 47%. Daily herbage allowance restriction did not affect pasture characteristics or milk production per cow, but DHA restriction increased milk production per hectare (+27%). The results suggest that restriction on daily herbage allowance ensures a higher level of herbage utilization and milk output per ha than high DHA, without affecting pasture characteristics. Therefore, DHA might be a useful grazing management tool for improving the profitability and sustainability of grazing-based dairy systems.

Palabras clave : Dairy systems; grazing management; milk yield; pasture utilization; sustainability.

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