Milk production and urination patterns were measured for mid-lactation dairy cows grazing a simple perennial ryegrass-white clover pasture (n = 15) and a more diverse pasture (n = 15) containing herb (chicory and plantain) and legume (lucerne) species in addition to the perennial ryegrass and white clover. Milksolids production was similar for simple (2.09 kg MS/cow/d) and diverse (1.94 kg MS/cow/d) pasture. Urination volume and frequency were similar for simple (2.0 L/urination, 11.6 urinations/cow/d) and diverse (2.2 L/urination, 15.0 urinations/cow/d) pasture. Urine-nitrogen (N) concentration was 20% lower for diverse (4.9 g N/L) than simple (6.1 g N/L) pasture. Diverse pastures may offer benefits for reducing the environmental impact of dairy farming by reducing the N loading of urine patches.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 75, Dunedin, 79-83, 2015
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