Håvard Steinshamn

Research Professor

(+47) 906 82 643
havard.steinshamn@nibio.no

Place
Tingvoll

Visiting address
Gunnars vei 6, NO-6630 Tingvoll

Biography

I am a grassland scientist with strong interest in forage production and ruminant nutrition, particularly in organic managed systems. Recent research focus has been on grassland management, the relationship between grassland management and ruminant product quality, grazing managemnet, replacement of synthetic vitamins with natural sources and preventive measure, disease resistance and robustness related to parasites in sheep.

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Abstract

Large areas of farmland are abandoned in Norway, which for various reasons are regarded as undesirable. Loss of farmlandmay have negative implications for biodiversity and ecosystem function and food production potential. The objectives of this study were to assess forage mass production and utilization, botanical composition, lamb performance, and grazing distribution pattern when reintroducing livestock grazing to an abandoned grassland. The study area was located in Central Norway, unmanaged for 12 years. Sheep grazed the area for 10 weeks in 2013 and 4 weeks in spring and autumn, respectively, in 2014 and 2015. During the summer of 2014 and 2015, the area was subjected to the following replicated treatments: (1) No grazing, (2) grazing with heifers, and (3) grazing with ewes and their offspring. The stocking rate was similar in the grazed treatments. Forage biomass production and animal intake were estimated using grazing exclosure cages and botanical composition by visual assessment. Effect on lamb performance was evaluated by live weight gain and slaughter traits in sheep subjected to three treatments: (1) Common farm procedure with summer range pasturing, (2) spring grazing period extended by 1 month on the abandoned grassland before summer range pasturing, and (3) spring and summer grazing on the abandoned grassland. Grazing distribution patterns were studied using GPS position collars on ewes. Total annual biomass production was on average 72% higher with summer grazing than without. Annual consumption and utilization was on average 218 g DM/m2 and 70% when summer grazed, and 25 g DM/m2 and 18% without grazing, respectively. Botanical composition did not differ between treatments. Live weight gain was higher in lambs subjected to an extended spring grazing period (255 g/d) compared to common farm practice (228 g/d) and spring and summer grazing on the abandoned grassland (203 g/d), and carcass value was 14% higher in lambs on extended spring grazing compared to common farm practice. In autumn, sheep preferred to graze areas grazed by sheep during summer. Re-introduction of grazing stimulated forage production, and extended spring grazing improved performance in lambs. This study has quantified the value of abandoned grassland as a feed resource.

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Abstract

There are differences in grass-clover proportions and chemical composition between herbage from primary growth (PG) and regrowth (RG) in grass-clover leys. Mixing silages made from PG and RG may provide a more optimal diet to dairy cows than when fed separately. We tested the hypotheses that increasing dietary proportions of grass-clover silage made from RG compared with PG would increase digestion rate of potentially degradable NDF (pdNDF), and increase ruminal accumulation of indigestible NDF (iNDF). Eight rumen cannulated Norwegian Red cows were used in two replicated 4 × 4 Latin squares with 21-day periods. Silages were prepared from PG and RG of an organically cultivated ley, where PG and RG silages were fed ad libitum in treatments with RG replacing PG in ratios of 0, 0.33, 0.67 and 1 on dry matter basis in addition to 8 kg concentrate. We evaluated the effect of the four diets with emphasis on rumen- and total tract fiber digestibility. Increasing RG proportions decreased silage intake by 7%. Omasal flow of pdNDF decreased, whereas iNDF flow increased with increasing RG proportions. Increasing RG proportions decreased rumen pool sizes of NDF and pdNDF, whereas pool sizes of iNDF and CP increased. Increasing RG proportions increased digestion rate of NDF, which resulted in greater total tract digestion of NDF. Pure PG diet had the highest calculated energy intake, but the improved rumen digestion of NDF by cows offered 0.33 and 0.67 of RG leveled out milk fat and protein yields among the three PG containing diets.

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Abstract

Under Norwegian conditions, diets based on primary growth (PG) silage typically increase milk yield compared to silage prepared from the regrowth (RG). Organic PG, dominated by immature grasses, is often high in energy and low in crude protein (CP), whereas the opposite is the case for organic RG harvests, dominated by clover. Here, we tested the hypotheses that increasing proportions of RG will reduce the total supply of metabolizable energy, but increase the CP intake, and that there is a dietary optimal mix of PG and RG to meet requirements for optimal milk production. Sixteen Norwegian Red cows were used in an experiment designed with four balanced 4 × 4 Latin squares with 21-day periods to evaluate the effect of incremental replacement of PG with RG on feed intake, nutrient digestion, and milk production. Silages were prepared from PG and RG of an organically managed grassland. Treatments comprised silages fed ad libitum with RG replacing PG in ratios of 0, 0.33, 0.67, and 1 on dry matter (DM) basis. Additionally, concentrate was offered with 8 kg for pluriparous and 7 kg for primiparous cows. The PG had higher content metabolizable energy (ME), potentially degradable neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and water-soluble carbohydrates, while RG contained more CP and indigestible NDF. The already mentioned characteristics led to higher intakes of DM, organic matter, NDF, and ME and lower intakes of CP and indigestible NDF with increasing proportions of PG in the diet. Milk yield tended to be higher when PG and RG were offered as a mixture than when fed alone. The milk fat concentration decreased linearly with increasing proportions of RG proportion, while protein concentration was unaffected by diet. This led to a similar production of energy-corrected milk among cows fed diets containing PG while cows fed pure RG diet produced 0.9 kg less daily. Silage energy concentration and energy intake influenced milk production more than CP supply.

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Abstract

The effects of a commercial seaweed (SW) product and extracts collected from wild SWs in the Northern Norway on cultivable commensal intestinal bacterial groups isolated from Norwegian White sheep ewes were studied in vivo and in vitro. Bacterial counts from faeces from the ewes fed with supplement which contained SW meal throughout the entire indoor winter period had significantly lower lactic acid bacteria (LAB) counts (P ≈ .05). The screening of extracts from red and brown SWs showed that a number of the organic extracts had an inhibitory effect on the growth of the two Enterococcus sp. isolates. The results indicate that Ascophyllum nodosum supplementation reduces LAB counts in the ewes and the lambs, and that extracts from this SW have an inhibitory effect on the growth of Enterococcus sp. isolates.

Abstract

The 2015-2018 PROMAC (Energy efficient Processing of Macroalgae in blue-green value chains) is financed by the Norwegian Research Council. The PROMAC consortium is led by Møreforsking AS and consists of both Norwegian (SINTEF, NIBIO, NTNU, NMBU) and European (CEVA, MATIS, SLU)research institutes, as well as industrial partners (TafjordKraftvarme, FelleskjøpetFôrutvikling, Firmenich, LegaseaBiomarine Cluster, The Northern Company, Orkla Foods, Hortimare, Marinox).An advisory panel with public authority and interest groups from the marine, energy and agricultural sectors, also oversee the 4,5Mill EUR project’s relevance in a societal context.The current approaches to meeting the demands for meat and other protein-rich food sources are often associated with damage to natural resources and negative effects on climate, air quality, soils and fresh water availability. Therefore, the PROMAC project (http://promac.no/) investigates an alternative approach for providing food and sources of proteins and energy in animal feed, and health benefits in human food through cultivation of macroalgae. The project focuses on the three macroalgaespecies Alariaesculenta, Saccharinalatissima andPalmariapalmata.The research project (i) assesses variation of raw material composition and quality from both harvested and cultured macroalgae, (ii) develops primary processing methods enhancing desired raw material properties, (iii) establishes fractionation and extraction methods best suited to enrich beneficial proteins or remove undesirable anti-nutrients and (iv) evaluates nutritional and health values of processed macroalgal ingredients for various animal groups and in relation to their distinct digestive systems.PROMAC assesses the costs and benefits of macroalgal products from a value chain perspective (from raw material to primary market) through process-based Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Material and Energy Flow Analysis (MEFA) and business models. To reduce the substantial energy required for primary processing of macroalgae - organisms characterized by ahigh-water content - PROMAC includes a case study utilizing excess heat from a waste incinerator for primary drying and processing of macroalgae biomass. This case study is integrated into both environmental and economic models.Initialresults identifyingmacroalgae food and feed products (ingredients)and associatedprocessing methods most relevant for commercial applications, will be presented integrated across work packages and subject fields.

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Abstract

Demand for organic meat is partially driven by consumer perceptions that organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic foods. However, there have been no systematic reviews comparing specifically the nutrient content of organic and conventionally produced meat. In this study, we report results of a meta-analysis based on sixty-seven published studies comparing the composition of organic and non-organic meat products. For many nutritionally relevant compounds (e.g. minerals, antioxidants and most individual fatty acids (FA)), the evidence base was too weak for meaningful meta-analyses. However, significant differences in FA profiles were detected when data from all livestock species were pooled. Concentrations of SFA and MUFA were similar or slightly lower, respectively, in organic compared with conventional meat. Larger differences were detected for total PUFA and n-3 PUFA, which were an estimated 23 (95 % CI 11, 35) % and 47 (95 % CI 10, 84) % higher in organic meat, respectively. However, for these and many other composition parameters, for which meta-analyses found significant differences, heterogeneity was high, and this could be explained by differences between animal species/meat types. Evidence from controlled experimental studies indicates that the high grazing/forage-based diets prescribed under organic farming standards may be the main reason for differences in FA profiles. Further studies are required to enable meta-analyses for a wider range of parameters (e.g. antioxidant, vitamin and mineral concentrations) and to improve both precision and consistency of results for FA profiles for all species. Potential impacts of composition differences on human health are discussed.

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Abstract

Clover proportions, and thereby chemical composition of herbage, differ between primary growth (PG) and regrowth (RG) in organic managed grass-clover fields. The characteristics of PG and RG silages suggest different supplementary feeding strategies to sustain an efficient milk production in dairy cows. Silage made of the RG generally offers more crude protein (CP) in the diet than silage made of the PG because of an increasing proportion of clover later in the season. Additionally, grass and clover have different amino acid (AA) profiles. His has been suggested to be the first limiting AA in grass silage, while Met has been suggested to be the primarily limiting AA in red clover silage. Eight rumen cannulated Norwegian Red cows were used in two replicated 4 × 4 Latin squares with 21-days periods. Organic PG and RG silages were fed ad libitum in four diets with RG replacing PG silage in ratios of 0, 0.33, 0.67 and 1 on dry matter (DM) basis. Changing RG silage proportions from 0 to 1 increased daily CP intake from 2.90 to 3.08 kg and rumen NH3-concentrations from 4.9 to 8.4 mmol/L, but did not promote a better protein supply. Neither total ruminal outflow of AA nor the AA profile in the small intestine differed between dietary treatments. Met and His were probably the most limiting AA for a higher milk production. Limitations by His may be more related to diets based on PG, while production by cows fed diets based on more RG herbage were more likely limited by Met.

Abstract

Large areas of cultivated grasslands have been abandoned in Norway and are no longer used for production. Knowing that access to spring and autumn pastures is a limiting factor for sheep farmers, this study aims at testing the effect of introducing abandoned farmland into sheep production. One sheep €ock with 83(88) ewes (lambs) in 2014 and 77 (106) ewes (lambs) in 2015 was each year assigned to three treatments: (1) control; common farm procedure with a short spring grazing period before summer grazing on range pasture; (2) spring extended; a four-week extended spring grazing period on abandoned cultivated grassland before summer grazing on range pasture; (3) whole season grazing on abandoned cultivated grassland. Weight gain from spring to autumn, slaughter weight and carcass value were signicantly (P<0.05) higher in lambs assigned to treatment 2, with four weeks extended spring grazing period (255 g day-1, 15.7 kg, 699 NOK), compared to treatment 1 (229 g day-1, 14.3 kg, 615 NOK) and treatment 3 (206 g day-1, 13.2 kg, 548 NOK). !e use of abandoned cultivated grassland for extended spring grazing improved weight gain and slaughter weight, while whole season grazing on abandoned grassland was the least productive option tested.

Abstract

Large areas of cultivated grasslands have been abandoned in Norway and are no longer used for production. Knowing that access to spring and autumn pastures is a limiting factor for sheep farmers, this study aims at testing the effect of introducing abandoned farmland into sheep production. One sheep €ock with 83(88) ewes (lambs) in 2014 and 77 (106) ewes (lambs) in 2015 was each year assigned to three treatments: (1) control; common farm procedure with a short spring grazing period before summer grazing on range pasture; (2) spring extended; a four-week extended spring grazing period on abandoned cultivated grassland before summer grazing on range pasture; (3) whole season grazing on abandoned cultivated grassland. Weight gain from spring to autumn, slaughter weight and carcass value were signicantly (P<0.05) higher in lambs assigned to treatment 2, with four weeks extended spring grazing period (255 g day-1, 15.7 kg, 699 NOK), compared to treatment 1 (229 g day-1, 14.3 kg, 615 NOK) and treatment 3 (206 g day-1, 13.2 kg, 548 NOK). !e use of abandoned cultivated grassland for extended spring grazing improved weight gain and slaughter weight, while whole season grazing on abandoned grassland was the least productive option tested.

Abstract

Large areas of cultivated grasslands are annually abandoned and no longer used for production in Norway. Such areas will over time be encroached by shrubs and trees. Knowing that access to spring and autumn pastures is a limiting factor for sheep farmers, we tested the effect of grazing abandoned grassland on sheep production. We also assessed herbage production by looking at plant community development, pasture production, herbage quality and pasture utilization by sheep and heifers. The experiment was run for two consecutive years; 2014 and 2015. The sheep production was assessed by studying one sheep flock with 83(88) ewes(lambs) in 2014 and 77(106) ewes(lambs) in 2015, which was assigned each year with respect to age of ewe and number of lambs born to three treatments: 1) control; common farm procedure with short spring grazing period before summer grazing on range pasture, 2) spring extended; 4 weeks extended spring grazing period on abandoned cultivated grassland before summer grazing on range pasture, 3) whole season grazing on abandoned grassland. Assessment of herbage production was done by sheep grazing the whole area for one month in spring and autumn. During the summer, the area was assigned to three replicated treatments: a) control with no management, b) grazing heifers and c) grazing sheep with offspring. The stocking rate was 1.8 LU/ha, in both b and c, for a duration of one month. Pasture production and herbage intake was estimated using grazing exclosure cages. Weight gain from birth to autumn as well as slaughter weight were significantly (P<0.05) higher in lambs assigned to treatment 2 with four weeks extended spring grazing period (259 g/day and 15.7 kg) compared to treatment 1 (238 g/day and 14.3 kg) and treatment 3 (216 g/day and 13.2 kg). Herbage consumed during the summer period was on average 211 g DM/m2 and the pasture utilization was 55%. The annual consumption and utilization was 336 g DM/m2 and 62% in the grazed treatments and 28 g DM/m2 and 15% in the control, respectively. Total annual pasture production was on average 72% higher in the grazed treatments compared to the control. There was no difference between the grazed treatments on annual herbage production, herbage intake or pasture utilization. The use of abandoned cultivated grassland for extended spring grazing improved weight gain and slaughter weight of lambs. Further, grazing stimulated herbage production

Abstract

Large areas of cultivated grassland are annually abandoned and no longer used for production in Norway. Such areas will over time be encroached by shrubs and trees, which is regarded as undesirable. We assessed plant community development, pasture production, herbage quality and pasture utilization by sheep and heifers of a grassland that has been unmanaged for 12 years. e experiment was run for two consecutive years. Sheep grazed the whole area for one month in spring and autumn. During the summer, the area was assigned to three replicated treatments: (1) control with no management; (2) grazing heifers; and (3) grazing sheep with off€spring. The stocking rate was 1.8 LU ha-1, in both b and c, for a duration of one month. The area was left resting for a month aer treatment and before autumn sheep grazing. Pasture production and herbage intake was estimated using grazing exclosure cages. Herbage consumed during summer period was on average 211 g DM m-2 and the pasture utilization was 55%. The annual consumption and utilization was 336 g DM m-2 and 62% in the grazed treatments and 28 g DM m-2 and 15% in the control, respectively. Total annual pasture production was on average 72% higher in the grazed treatments compared to the control. Tere was no diff€erence between the grazed treatments on annual production, herbage intake or pasture utilization. Grazing stimulated herbage production, and such abandoned grasslands are valuable forage resources.

Abstract

We assessed milk production with 24 mid-lactation Norwegian Red dairy cows on a spring pasture dominated by timothy (Phleum pratense) for a period of 21 days using three pasture allocation techniques (n=8). Cows received weekly allowances at once (7 day-set-paddocking; 7SP), grazed 1/7 of 7SP allowance each day (daily-strip-grazing; 1SG), or grazed like 1SG but also had access to the previously grazed part of the paddock (daily-forward-grazing; 1FG). We hypothesized that 7SP would deteriorate sward quality and quantity over the grazing days whilst the other two treatments would provide balanced pasture quality and intake. These changes were expected to result in differences in milk yield and its components. However, changes in sward chemical composition (e.g. neutral netergent fiber, crude protein) over the grazing days in each week were not different among treatments (treatment × grazing day; P>0.05). Furthermore, no effect of treatments on milk yield and its components was observed. Nonetheless, the effects of grazing days over a week on milk yield and components were different among treatments (treatment × grazing day; P<0.05). These treatment by grazing day interaction effects, in the absence main effect of treatment, could be due to fluctuations in daily DMI among treatments over the grazing days in each week.

Abstract

We assessed milk production with 24 mid-lactation Norwegian Red dairy cows on a spring pasture dominated by timothy (Phleum pratense) for a period of 21 days using three pasture allocation techniques (n=8). Cows received weekly allowances at once (7 day-set-paddocking; 7SP), grazed 1/7 of 7SP allowance each day (daily-strip-grazing; 1SG), or grazed like 1SG but also had access to the previously grazed part of the paddock (daily-forward-grazing; 1FG). We hypothesized that 7SP would deteriorate sward quality and quantity over the grazing days whilst the other two treatments would provide balanced pasture quality and intake. These changes were expected to result in differences in milk yield and its components. However, changes in sward chemical composition (e.g. neutral netergent fiber, crude protein) over the grazing days in each week were not different among treatments (treatment × grazing day; P>0.05). Furthermore, no effect of treatments on milk yield and its components was observed. Nonetheless, the effects of grazing days over a week on milk yield and components were different among treatments (treatment × grazing day; P<0.05). These treatment by grazing day interaction effects, in the absence main effect of treatment, could be due to fluctuations in daily DMI among treatments over the grazing days in each week.

Abstract

Large areas of cultivated grassland are annually abandoned and no longer used for production in Norway. Such areas will over time be encroached by shrubs and trees, which is regarded as undesirable. We assessed plant community development, pasture production, herbage quality and pasture utilization by sheep and heifers of a grassland that has been unmanaged for 12 years. e experiment was run for two consecutive years. Sheep grazed the whole area for one month in spring and autumn. During the summer, the area was assigned to three replicated treatments: (1) control with no management; (2) grazing heifers; and (3) grazing sheep with off€spring. The stocking rate was 1.8 LU ha-1, in both b and c, for a duration of one month. The area was left resting for a month aer treatment and before autumn sheep grazing. Pasture production and herbage intake was estimated using grazing exclosure cages. Herbage consumed during summer period was on average 211 g DM m-2 and the pasture utilization was 55%. The annual consumption and utilization was 336 g DM m-2 and 62% in the grazed treatments and 28 g DM m-2 and 15% in the control, respectively. Total annual pasture production was on average 72% higher in the grazed treatments compared to the control. Tere was no diff€erence between the grazed treatments on annual production, herbage intake or pasture utilization. Grazing stimulated herbage production, and such abandoned grasslands are valuable forage resources.

Abstract

Grassland and the associated ruminant livestock production is the backbone of Norwegian agriculture, as ruminant products contribute nearly 50% of the gross income of the agricultural sector. About 2/3 of the agricultural area is used for temporary and permanent grassland, and a large proportion (40%) of the arable land is used for producing cereals that are included in concentrate mixtures fed to ruminants. The huge variation in climatic conditions, caused by the wide range in both latitude and altitude as well as in the distance to the coast, determines the land use and choice of species and varieties used in grassland. However, the dominating ley grassland species used in in almost all parts of the country are timothy (Phleum pratense L.), meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.) and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.). The use of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is increasing, particularly in the southwestern parts of the country. The grassland yields and forage feed quality have remained very much the same during the last decade, while the intensity in ruminant production, e.g. milk yield per cow, has increased considerably. Factors that have contributed to grassland yield stagnation are probably the increasing proportion of rented farmland by larger farm units, the increasing price ratio between livestock products and feed concentrates and the increasing cost of producing forage relative to the price of concentrates

Abstract

Grassland and the associated ruminant livestock production is the backbone of Norwegian agriculture, as ruminant products contribute nearly 50% of the gross income of the agricultural sector. About 2/3 of the agricultural area is used for temporary and permanent grassland, and a large proportion (40%) of the arable land is used for producing cereals that are included in concentrate mixtures fed to ruminants. The huge variation in climatic conditions, caused by the wide range in both latitude and altitude as well as in the distance to the coast, determines the land use and choice of species and varieties used in grassland. However, the dominating ley grassland species used in in almost all parts of the country are timothy (Phleum pratense L.), meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.) and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.). The use of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is increasing, particularly in the southwestern parts of the country. The grassland yields and forage feed quality have remained very much the same during the last decade, while the intensity in ruminant production, e.g. milk yield per cow, has increased considerably. Factors that have contributed to grassland yield stagnation are probably the increasing proportion of rented farmland by larger farm units, the increasing price ratio between livestock products and feed concentrates and the increasing cost of producing forage relative to the price of concentrates

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Abstract

Demand for organic milk is partially driven by consumer perceptions that it is more nutritious. However, there is still considerable uncertainty over whether the use of organic production standards affects milk quality. Here we report results of meta-analyses based on 170 published studies comparing the nutrient content of organic and conventional bovine milk. There were no significant differences in total SFA and MUFA concentrations between organic and conventional milk. However, concentrations of total PUFA and n-3 PUFA were significantly higher in organic milk, by an estimated 7 (95 % CI −1, 15) % and 56 (95 % CI 38, 74) %, respectively. Concentrations of α-linolenic acid (ALA), very long-chain n-3 fatty acids (EPA+DPA+DHA) and conjugated linoleic acid were also significantly higher in organic milk, by an 69 (95 % CI 53, 84) %, 57 (95 % CI 27, 87) % and 41 (95 % CI 14, 68) %, respectively. As there were no significant differences in total n-6 PUFA and linoleic acid (LA) concentrations, the n-6:n-3 and LA:ALA ratios were lower in organic milk, by an estimated 71 (95 % CI −122, −20) % and 93 (95 % CI −116, −70) %. It is concluded that organic bovine milk has a more desirable fatty acid composition than conventional milk. Meta-analyses also showed that organic milk has significantly higher α-tocopherol and Fe, but lower I and Se concentrations. Redundancy analysis of data from a large cross-European milk quality survey indicates that the higher grazing/conserved forage intakes in organic systems were the main reason for milk composition differences.

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Abstract

Effects of wilting rate and fermentation stimulators and inhibitors on protein characteristics of forages typ- ical for organic production were assessed using tradi- tional analytical methods and a gas production in vitro assay. The hypotheses were that the proportion of the crude protein (CP) fraction that was soluble would be lowest, and the protein feed value highest, under rapid wilting and restricted fermentation. The solubil- ity of the CP fraction varied according to treatments and between a first and a second cut, with moderate and high content of clover respectively. It was, how- ever, of minor importance for the protein value, both calculated as amino acids absorbed in the small intes- tine (AAT 20 ) and estimated as effective utilizable crude protein (uCP 04 ) by the in vitro assay. In ensiled her- bage, AAT 20 was highest in rapidly wilted and restrict- edly fermented silages made from a first cut dominated by highly digestible grasses. Silages from the second cut dominated by red clover were far lower in AAT 20 . The in vitro assay did not separate silages according to herbage composition or wilting rate, but ranked restrictedly fermented above extensively fer- mented with regard to protein supply. The assay might still have caught the characteristics that determine the true protein value in vivo.

Abstract

The effects of cutting frequency, silage fermentation pattern and legume performance in grass-clover ley on use of inputs and profitability in an organic dairy system in Mid-Norway were examined. A whole-farm linear programming model was developed to compare a three-cut and a two-cut system, either with restricted silage fermentation through acidification or untreated at low or high red clover (Trifolium pratense L) proportion in the ley. Input-output relations incorporated into the model were derived from a meta-analysis of organic grassland field trials in Norway, silage fermentation experiments, and with feed intakes and milk yields from simulations with the NorFor feed evaluation system. The model maximised total gross margin of farms with 250,000 l milk quota, and housing capacity for 45 cows. Farmland availability was allowed to vary with 40 ha as the basis. High proportion of legumes in the leys was far more important for profitability than the score on the other variables considered. With little land available, the costs of preservatives were higher than their benefits. At higher land areas applying preservatives was more profitable. Cutting systems producing silages that result in an increased intake of silage per cow, generally three-cut systems, performed relatively better at higher land availabilities.

Abstract

The effects of cutting frequency, silage fermentation pattern and legume performance in grass-clover ley on use of inputs and profitability in an organic dairy system in Mid-Norway were examined. A whole-farm linear programming model was developed to compare a three-cut and a two-cut system, either with restricted silage fermentation through acidification or untreated at low or high red clover (Trifolium pratense L) proportion in the ley. Input-output relations incorporated into the model were derived from a meta-analysis of organic grassland field trials in Norway, silage fermentation experiments, and with feed intakes and milk yields from simulations with the NorFor feed evaluation system. The model maximised total gross margin of farms with 250,000 l milk quota, and housing capacity for 45 cows. Farmland availability was allowed to vary with 40 ha as the basis. High proportion of legumes in the leys was far more important for profitability than the score on the other variables considered. With little land available, the costs of preservatives were higher than their benefits. At higher land areas applying preservatives was more profitable. Cutting systems producing silages that result in an increased intake of silage per cow, generally three-cut systems, performed relatively better at higher land availabilities.

Abstract

A meta-analysis based on experiments in organically cultivated grasslands in Norway was conducted to quantify the effects of management factors on herbage yield and feed quality. A dataset was collected that included 496 treatment means from experiments in five studies carried out at eight locations with the latitude range of 58.8 to 69.6 N between 1993 and 2010. We tested the effect of harvesting system (two vs. Three cuts annually), plant developmental stage at the first cut, growth period (temperature sum) and the herbage clover proportion. Plant maturity at the first cut and herbage clover proportion explained to a large extent herbage yield and quality of the first cut and annual yield. The timing of the first cut influenced also the yield and herbage quality of the second cut. The analysis confirmed the importance of legumes performance for herbage yield and quality from grasslands in organic production. Estimated annual herbage DM yield harvested at standardized plant development stage and at average clover proportion was 9%higher in the two—compared to the three-cut system. The crude protein concentration and in vitro dry matter digestibility was 17 and 3 % higher and the NDF concentration 7 % lower in the annual herbage from the three-cut than from the twocut system, respectively. The empirical equations developed in this study may be applied to explore different options for grassland management as basis for ration and production planning and in scenario analysis of economic performance of individual and model farms. The equations do also reveal in numeric terms the tradeoffs in management practice between high yields, yield digestibility, NDF and crude protein content in organic forage production relying on red clover N2 fixation as the engine in the system.

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Abstract

Phytoestrogens have structures similar to endogenous steroids and may induce or inhibit the response of hormone receptors. The objectives of the present study were to compare the effects of long-term vs. short-term grassland management in organic and conventional dairy production systems, compare organic and conventional production systems and assess seasonal variation on phytoestrogen concentrations in bulk-tank milk. The concentrations of phytoestrogens were analyzed in bulk-tank milk sampled three times in two subsequent years from 28 dairy farms: Fourteen organic (ORG) dairy farms with either short-term or long-term grassland management were paired with 14 conventional (CON)farms with respect to grassland management. Grassland management varied in terms of time since establishment. Short-term grassland management (SG) was defined as establishment or reseeding every fourth year or more often, and long-term grassland management (LG) was defined as less frequent establishment or reseeding. The proportion of red clover (Trifolium pretense L.) in the herbage was positively correlated with milk concentrations of the mammalian isoflavone equol. Therefore, organically produced bulk-tank milk contained more equol than conventionally produced milk, and milk from ORG-SG farms had more equol than milk from ORG-LG farms. Milk produced during the indoor-feeding periods had more equol than milk produced during the outdoor feeding period, because pastures contained less red clover than fields intended for silage production. Organically produced milk had also higher concentrations of the mammalian lignan enterolactone, but in contrast to equol, concentrations increased in the outdoor-feeding periods compared to the indoor-feeding periods. There were no indications of ertility problems on ORG-SG farms who had the highest red clover proportions in the herbage. This study shows that Production system, grassland management, and season affect milk concentrations of phytoestrogens. However, compared to soy products, milk concentrations of phytoestrogens are low and future studies are required to investigate if the intake of phytoestrogens from dairy products has physiological effects in humans.

Abstract

Seaweeds have been used as supplementary feed for livestock in Norway for centuries. Research activities on the use of seaweed as feed started early last century and continued until the late 1960s. The results were elusive, partly because the design of the experiments were imperfect. However, a long term experiment in the 1960’s demonstrated 6% higher milk production by cows supplemented mineral fortified Ascophyllum nodosum meal than in cows offered standard mineral supplement. The authors suggested that seaweed compounds might have had benficial effect on the rumen microflora. Seaweeds are a rich source of Se and antioxidants such as substituted phenols, polyphenols, vitamins, and vitamin precursors. Results from research last 10-20 years suggests that dietary supplementation with A. nodosum meal has positive effects on ruminant product quality and stress tolerance. Alginates have been documented to be non-specific immunostimulants. A. nodosum is currently commersially harvested and processed and sold as a feed supplement. Winter fed sheep and cattle in Norway needs to be given extra fat soluble vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin E and Se, in order to ensure good animal health and production. Based on the aquired knowledge from international reseach on A. nodosum and its possible beneficial health effect, we tested if A. nodosum has immunestimulating effect and can be used as a substitute for synthetic vitamin E in sheep and cattle. Our hypothesis were that supplementing the diet with seaweed to sheep and lactating dairy cows would produce better adaptive immune response following immunization compared to no supplementation and similar to animals given extra vitamin E. Two feeding experiments were conducted, one continous with 40 pregnant ewes and one with 24 lactating dairy cows in a replicated Latin square design. The four supplement treatments applied were: A. Nodosum meal (SW), Natural vitamin E, Synthetic vitamin E, or Control. The average daily rate of A. Nodosum meal per ewe and cow in SW was 80 and 200 g DM, respectively. The ewes and their newborn lambs were monitored the entire indoor feeding period, from mating until pasture let out (200 d). In the ewes, supplementation with SW had no health effects compared to the other treatments, and serum IgG concentrations were reduced in the SW group.The adaptive immunity of the lambs was not affected by supplementation, and seaweed reduced the counts of different intestinal bacterial groups. However, seaweed interferred with the lambs passive immunity resulting in a mortality rate of 35 %, compared with 10% in Control. All cows responded well to immunization, but there were no significant effects of the diet on the immune response measured. The immunesupression observed in newborn lambs from ewes offered SW was likely du to impaired Ig absorption from colostrum, and we conclude that ruminants should not be supplemented with seaweed during peripartum. More research is needed on the identification of bioactive components in seaweed, their effects in animal health, the mechanisms related to their effects on the animal health and testing before seaweed should be used as a feed supplement to ruminants.

Abstract

The spring and the summer growth of an organic grass-clover sward were preserved as extensively and restrictedly fermented silages in laboratory silos.The aim was to develop and test the hypothesis that such crops contribute complementary energy and protein qualities that can be exploited in mixed rations. The summer growth, containing 76% red clover, contributed more, and more stable crude protein than the spring growth, which was dominated by grasses. Nevertheless, when preserved as silage, summer growth supplied less metabolizable protein and net energy lactation because of its lower digestibility. Lower feed value remains to be validated in feeding experiments, and the quality of regrowth silages may also be improved by more frequent or appropriate timing of harvests. Restricted fermentation obtained by application of formic acid improved energy and protein preservation.

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Abstract

Dietary phytoestrogens are metabolized or converted in the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants, only limited knowledge exists on the extent and location of this conversion in vivo. The objective of this study was to quantify the gastro-intestinal metabolism of phytoestrogens in lactating dairy cows fed silages with different botanical composition. Four lactating rumen cannulated Norwegian Red cattle were assigned to a 4 × 4 Latin square with 1 cow per treatment period of 3 wk. The 4 treatment silages were prepared from grasslands with different botanical compositions: organically managed short-term timothy (Phleum pratense L.) and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) ley (2 yr old: ORG-SG); organically managed long-term grassland with a high proportion of unsown species (6 yr old; ORG-LG); conventionally managed perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) ley (CON-PR); and conventionally managed timothy ley (CON-TI). The herbages were cut, wilted, and preserved with additive in round bales, fed as a mix of the first and third cut at 90% of ad libitum intake, and contributed to 70% of the total dry matter intake. Milk, feed, omasal digesta, urine, and feces were collected at the end of each period and analyzed for the concentrations of phytoestrogens by using a liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry technique. Concentration of total isoflavones was highest in ORG-SG and lowest in CON-TI silage, whereas the content of total lignans was highest in the grass silages. The isoflavones were extensively metabolized in the rumen on all diets, and the recovery of formononetin and daidzein in omasum, mainly as equol, averaged 0.11 mg/mg. The apparent intestinal metabolism was less severe as, on average, 0.29 mg/mg of the omasal flow was recovered in feces. The plant lignans were also strongly degraded in the rumen. However, the flow of lignans to omasum and excretion in feces were, on average, 7.2- and 5.2-fold higher, respectively, than the intake of the plant lignans matairesinol and secoisolariciresinol, known as precursors of mammalian lignans. Thus, excretion to milk could not be directly related to intake, implying that plant lignans other than matairesinol and secoisolariciresinol in forage are precursors for enterolactone production in the rumen and for its content in milk. Equol followed mainly the flow of large particles out of the rumen, whereas the mammalian lignans were distributed between phases proportional to dry matter flow. The main metabolism of phytoestrogens occurred in the rumen and the main route of excretion was through feces and urine, with only a small part being excreted in milk. The concentration of phytoestrogens in milk can be manipulated through intake but the intermediate transfer capacity to milk appears to be limited by saturation

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Abstract

We report results from trials on chicory growth (experiment 1) and lamb growth on chicory (experiment 2). In experiment 1, we assessed yield and chemical composition on swards established under organic conditions as perennial ryegrass/red clover, perennial ryegrass/chicory, chicory/red clover (CHRC), pure perennial ryegrass (RG-alone) and pure chicory (CHalone) over two years. Chicory/red clover and CH-alone showed improved crude protein, Ca, Mg, P, Cu and net energy contents compared to other mixtures. However, dry matter yield was the lowest for CHRC and CH-alone compared to others. In experiment 2, 48 weaned lambs grazed swards sown as chicory alone (CHA), chicory–grass–clover mix (CGC) or grass–clover mix (GCM) for 45 days. Lamb body weight (BW) gain and final BW were higher on CHA and CGC than on GCM. The results suggest that chicory can complement conventional grass/clover swards especially in macro- and micronutrients for improved lamb growth with a proper grazing management in place

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Abstract

Phyto-oestrogens are a group of secondary plant metabolites that may bind to oestrogen receptors and exert oestrogenic or anti-oestrogenic effects in humans and can protect against cancer diseases. When ingested by dairy cows, phyto-oestrogens can be metabolised and transferred to the milk. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of grazing a recently established pasture containing red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) and an older pasture containing a variety of sown and unsown plant species on milk concentrations of phyto-oestrogens. Sixteen Norwegian Red dairy cows [mean (standard deviation); body weight 599 (45.1) kg, stage of lactation 73 (15.0) d in milk, milk yield 29.9 (2.90) kg/d at the start of the experiment] were divided into two groups and grazed either a short-term pasture (SP) or a long-term pasture (LP). The SP was representative of organically managed leys in Norway, which are frequently, approximately every third year, renewed by soil tillage and seeding, whereas LP was representative of organically managed grasslands that are less frequently renewed. The SP contained meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.) (mean 34%), timothy (Phleum pratense L.) (mean 19%), red clover (mean 28%), shepherd׳s-purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik.) (mean 6%), pineappleweed (Matricaria matricarioides Porter ex Britton) (mean 5%) and scentless mayweed (Tripleurospermum perforatum (Mérat) Laínz) (mean 4%), and LP contained mainly white clover (Trifolium repens L.) (mean 21%), smooth meadowgrass (Poa pratensis L.) (mean 19%), timothy (mean 17%), meadow fescue (mean 15%), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) (mean 6%), tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa (L.) P. Beauv.) (mean 5%), northern dock (Rumex longifolius DC.) (mean 4%), common couch (Elytrigia repens (L.) Desv. Ex Nevski) (mean 4%), red clover (mean 3%) and dandelion (Taraxacum spp.) (mean 3%). In addition to a daily pasture allowance of 20 kg dry matter per cow, supplements of 3.0 kg barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) concentrate were fed. Herbage, concentrates and milk was sampled during the last week of three experimental periods and analysed for phyto-oestrogens using LC-MS/MS technology. Herbage from SP had 19 times higher concentration of isoflavones than herbage from LP, whereas only small differences were found for lignans. Milk produced on SP had 14 times higher concentrations of the mammalian isoflavonoid equol, and the concentrations of equol were higher than found in most other studies. This study confirms that grazing pastures containing red clover increases concentrations of isoflavones and especially equol in bovine milk compared to grazing pastures with other botanical composition. The higher milk concentrations of the lignan metabolite enterodiol in milk from SP compared to LP could not be related to differences in intake of the analysed lignans and may therefore be related to unidentified lignans.

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to examine the effect of grazing on different pasture types and hay feeding on dairy goat’s milk casein composition in early and late grazing season. Eighty goats were grouped according to genotype at the αS1-casein locus and number of lactations and randomly divided into two groups (Early and Late) with approximately 8 weeks difference in kidding dates. Goats within each of the two groups were further allocated to four forage treatment groups accounting for genotype and lactation number: R, forest rangeland pasture; C, cultivated pasture; HH, high quality hay; HL, low quality hay. The goats in Early were subjected to forage treatments in early grazing season, while the goats in Late received the forage treatments 8 weeks later. There was a strong effect of genotype but no genotype by diet interaction on casein content and composition. Goats grazing R yielded less milk (1.6 vs. 2.2 kg/d, P<0.001) with higher milk fat content (48 vs. 38 g/kg, P<0.001) than goats on C. Pasture type had no effect on total protein or casein content. However, milk from goats on R compared to C had lower content of αs1-casein (2.57 vs. 3.82 g/L, P<0.01) and κ-casein (4.51 vs. 5.22 g/L, P<0.05) but higher content of β-casein (13.1 vs. 11.7 g/L, P<0.001). Grazing compared to hay gave similar milk yield with higher content of total casein (24.2 vs. 21.0 g/kg, P<0.001), αs2-casein (3.48 vs. 3.04 g/L, P<0.001) and β-casein (12.4 vs. 11.7 g/L, P<0.01). Grazing compared to hay feeding improved the milk casein composition important for cheese making, while cultivated pasture were superior to rangeland.

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Abstract

Bulk tank milk from 28 dairy farms was sampled every second month for 2 yr to assess the effects of grassland management, production system and season on milk fatty acid (FA) composition, concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins, Se, and milk sensory quality. Grassland management varied in terms of time since establishment. Short-term grassland management (SG) was defined as establishment or reseeding every fourth year or more often, and long-term grassland management (LG) was defined as less frequent establishment or reseeding. Fourteen organic (ORG) dairy farms with either short-term or long-term grassland management were paired with 14 conventional (CON) farms with respect to grassland management. Within ORG farms, SG farms differed from LG farms in herbage botanical composition, but not in concentrate FA concentrations, dry matter intake, or milk yield. Within CON farms, herbage composition, concentrate FA concentrations, dry matter intake, and milk yield showed no or insignificant variations. The ORG farms differed from CON farms in herbage botanical composition, concentrate FA concentrations, concentrate intake, and milk yield. Compared with ORG-LG farms, ORG-SG farms produced milk fat with higher proportions of C10:0 and C12:0 associated with higher herbage proportions of legumes (Fabaceae) and lower proportions of other dicotyledon families. Compared with milk from CON farms, milk fat from ORG farms had higher proportions of most saturated FA and all n-3 FA, but lower proportions of C18:0 and C18:1 cis-9 associated with higher forage proportion and differences in concentrations of FA in concentrates. Compared with the outdoor-feeding periods, the indoor feeding periods yielded milk fat with higher proportions of most short-chain and medium-chain FA and lower proportions of most C18-FA associated with grazing and higher forage proportions. Milk concentrations of α-tocopherol and β-carotene were lower during the grazing periods. Inclusion of fishmeal in organic concentrates may explain higher Se concentrations in organically produced milk. Milk sensory quality was not affected in this study. In conclusion, grassland management had minor effects on milk composition, and differences between ORG farms and CON farms may be explained by differences in concentrate intake and concentrate FA concentrations. Milk produced on ORG farms versus CON farms and milk produced during the outdoor versus indoor feeding periods had potential health benefits due to FA composition. In contrast, the higher milk-fat proportions of saturated FA in milk from ORG farms may be perceived as negative for human health.

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Abstract

Ruminal biohydrogenation and transfer of fatty acids (FA) to milk were determined for 4 silages with different botanical compositions using 4 multiparous Norwegian Red dairy cows [(mean ± SD) 118±40.9d in milk, 22.5±2.72kg of milk/d, 631±3.3kg of body weight, 3.3±0.40 points on body condition score at the start of the experiment] fitted with rumen cannulas. Treatments consisted of 4 experimental silages: a mix of the first and third cut of organically managed short-term grassland with timothy (Phleum pratense L.) and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.; 2 yr old; ORG-SG); organically managed long-term grassland with a high proportion of unsown species (6 yr old; ORG-LG); conventionally managed ley with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.; CON-PR); and conventionally managed ley with timothy (CON-TI). The herbages were cut, wilted, and preserved with additive in round bales and fed at 0.90 of ad libitum intake. A barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) concentrate constituted 300g/kg of dry matter of the total feed offered. A Latin square design (4×4) with 3-wk periods and the last week in each period used for sampling was implemented. Omasal flows of FA were measured using Yb acetate, Cr-EDTA, and the indigestible neutral detergent fiber fraction as indigestible markers. The composition of FA was analyzed in feed, omasal digesta, and milk. Compared with ORG-LG, ORG-SG had a higher herbage proportion of red clover (0.36 vs. 0.01) and lower proportions of timothy (0.42 vs. 0.18), smooth meadowgrass (Poa pratensis L.), meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.), white clover (Trifolium repens L.), dandelion (Taraxacum spp.), and creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens L.). The silages were well preserved. The concentration of neutral detergent fiber was higher and the concentration of Kjeldahl-N was lower for CON-TI than for the other silages. Silage type had no effect on dry matter intake, but milk yield was lower for CON-TI than for the other silages. Apparent biohydrogenation of C18:3n-3 was lower for ORG-SG (932g/kg) than for ORG-LG (956g/kg), CON-PR (959g/kg), and CON-TI (958g/kg). Compared with the grass-based silages, ORG-SG and ORG-LG resulted in higher omasal flows of C18:1 trans FA and higher milk fat proportions of C18:1 trans FA and C18:2 cis-9,trans-11. Apparent recovery of C18:3n-3 in milk was higher for ORG-SG (61g/kg) than for ORG-LG (33g/kg), CON-PR (34g/kg), and CON-TI (38g/kg), and milk fat proportion of C18:3n-3 was higher for ORG-SG than for CON-TI. Milk fat proportions of C16:0 were lower for ORG-SG and ORG-LG compared with those for CON-PR and CON-TI. It was concluded that high proportions of red clover and other dicotyledons in the silages affected ruminal biohydrogenation and increased milk fat proportions of beneficial FA.

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Abstract

Previous research has shown that grazing pastures compared to feeding preserved forages has large impact on milk fatty acid (FA) composition, but differences between grazing red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) or white clover (Trifolium repens L.) are small, whereas the herbage proportions of dicotyledon botanical families is positively correlated with the milk-fat proportions of total polyunsaturated FA when grazing pastures in the Alps. The objective of the present study was to investigate the influence of botanically different pastures on bovine milk composition and milk susceptibility to oxidation. Two groups of 8 multiparous Norwegian Red dairy cows [mean (standard deviation); 599 (45.1)kg body weight, 73 (15.0)d in milk, 29.9 (2.90)kg milk/d at experiment start] grazed either a short-term pasture (SP) or a long-term pasture (LP). Both pastures were organically managed, meaning that no artificial fertilizers or herbicides were applied. The SP was representative for pastures, which are frequently, i.e. at least every third year, renewed by soil tillage and seeding, whereas LP was representative for pastures, which are less frequently renewed. The SP contained mainly meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.), timothy (Phleum pratense L.) and red clover and LP contained smooth meadow grass (Poa pratensis L.), white clover and a variety of unsown species. Sixteen cows were blocked according to milk yield, days in milk and sire, and randomly within block allocated to the 2 dietary treatments with a daily pasture allowance of 15–20kg dry matter per cow, supplemented with 3.0kg barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) concentrate. Milk was sampled during the last week of 3 experimental periods and analysed for FA composition by gas chromatography, concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins by high performance liquid chromatography, and oxidative stability in a light-exposure experiment by measuring the formation of hydroperoxides and by front-face fluorescence spectroscopy. Pasture type had no effect on milk yield, milk gross composition, and only minor effects on milk FA composition. Milk from SP had higher concentration of α-tocopherol than LP. The formation of hydroperoxides in milk was lower for SP than LP after 24h light exposure, but no differences were found after 48h. Front-face fluorescence spectroscopy revealed slightly higher formation of components in the area of 409–480nm wavelength for SP than LP, which may be related to milk-lipid oxidation. The experimental pastures differed mainly in herbage proportions of red clover and white clover and less in proportions of non-legume dicotyledons. This explains small differences in milk FA composition and milk susceptibility to oxidation.

Abstract

Traditionally, Norwegian dairy goats graze on diverse forest or alpine rangeland during summer, and these pastures are important both as a feed source, and for keeping the traditional image of goat milk being produced on local “natural” resources. Simultaneously, the grazing goats keep the landscape open. The quality of goat milk often declines during summer, with increased problems with free fatty acids (FFA) in the milk. This seems to coincide with the latter part of the grazing season, when goats generally also are in a later lactation stage, which also can cause problems with FFA. To elucidate the effects of pasture quality on milk production and quality we conducted an experiment where we grouped eighty goats according to genotype and lactation. They were randomly divided into two groups with approximately 8 weeks difference in kidding date and start of feeding experiment in Early (beginning of July) and Late (end of August) grazing season on improved cultivated pasture (PC) or rangeland (PR). Grazing was compared with hay of high (HH) or low (HL) quality. We used n-alkanes and long chained alcohols found in plant waxes as markers to estimate diet composition, and dosed the animals with the even-chained alkane C32 to estimate intake. Grazed plants were analysed also for feed quality. The forage intake was generally high, on average 1.2, 1.9, 2.1 and 1.6 kg DM day-1 per goat for PC, PR, HH and HL, respectively. The intake in the cultivated pasture the diet was predominantly timothy (Phleum pratense) in early season, while meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis) and couch grass (Elytrigia repens) dominated in 2nd period. In the rangeland, the diet was diverse and consisted of ferns, sedges, blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillis) and birch (Betula pubescens) in early summer. In late summer the diet was particularly diverse, coinciding with a general decline in plant quality. R yielded less milk (1.6 vs. 2.2 kg d-1) and lower milk protein content (32 vs. 33 g kg-1), but higher milk fat (48 vs. 38 g kg-1) and DM content (122 vs. 114 g kg-1) than C. Milk content of free fatty acids (FFA) was not affected by pasture type. The effect of pasture type on milk yield and milk constituents were similar in early and late grazing season. Grazing resulted in similar milk yield but higher milk fat (43 vs. 35 g kg-1), protein (32 vs. 30 g kg-1) and DM (118 vs. 107 g kg-1) content and lower content of FFA (0.25 vs. 0.31 mEq L-1) than hay feeding.

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Abstract

There is increasing concern that the intensification of dairy production reduces the concentrations of nutritionally desirable compounds in milk. In this study we therefore compared important quality parameters (protein and fatty acid profiles, α-tocopherol and carotenoid concentrations) in milk from four dairy systems with contrasting production intensities (in terms of feeding regimes and milking systems). The concentrations of several nutritionally desirable compounds (β-lactoglobulin, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-3/omega-6 ratio, conjugated linoleic acid c9t11 and/or carotenoids) decreased with increasing feeding intensity (organic outdoor ≥ conventional outdoor ≥ conventional indoors). Milking system intensification (use of robotic milking parlours) had a more limited effect on milk composition, but increased mastitis incidence. Multivariate analyses indicated that differences in milk quality were mainly linked to contrasting feeding regimes, and that milking system and breed choice also contributed to differences in milk composition between production systems.

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Abstract

Two feeding experiments were performed to study the effects of silage botanical composition, regrowth interval and α-tocopherol supplementation on the fatty acid (FA) composition and α-tocopherol, β-carotene and retinol concentrations of milk. In Exp. 1, 24 Swedish Red dairy cows were fed two- or three-cut red clover–grass silages (R2 and R3, respectively) or two-cut birdsfoot trefoil–grass silage (B2). In Exp. 2, 16 Norwegian Red dairy cows were fed short-term ley silage with red clover (S3) or long-term ley silage with white clover (L3) in combination with the supplementation of RRR-α-tocopheryl acetate (1600 mg/day). The FA proportions in the milk and the recoveries of C18:2n-6 and C18:3n-3 were higher on the red clover diets R2 and S3 than on B2 and L3, respectively, and the n-6/n-3 FA ratio was also higher on the red clover diets. Shorter regrowth interval increased both the concentrations of FA in silage and the proportions of unsaturated FA in milk. Intakes of α-tocopherol, β-carotene and lutein were higher on B2 than on R2 due to higher silage intake on B2. However, the highest intake was seen on diet R3 due to the higher concentrations in the silage mixture. In Exp. 2, intakes of α-tocopherol, β-carotene and lutein were higher on L3. However, not all of these differences affected the milk, since the only significant differences related to silage diet in the two experiments were a higher milk α-tocopherol concentration on L3 than on S3 and a slightly lower β-carotene concentration on B2 than on R2. Supplementation with α-tocopherol increased milk α-tocopherol concentrations from 0.77 to 1.05 and from 1.07 to 1.24 mg/kg milk for S3 and L3, respectively, but did not affect milk FA composition. A higher concentration of antioxidants in the feed could be beneficial as a larger proportion of the animal's vitamin requirements would be met by the forage and the need for supplementation might decrease.

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to examine the effect of grazing on different pasture types and hay feeding on dairy goat milk fatty acid (FA) composition in early and late grazing season. Eighty goats were grouped according to genotype and lactation, and randomly divided into two groups (Early and Late) with approximately 8 weeks difference in mating and kidding dates. Goats within each of the two groups were further allocated to four forage treatment groups: R, forest rangeland pasture; C, cultivated pasture; HH, high quality hay; HL, low quality hay. The goats in Early were subjected to forage treatments in early grazing season, while the goats in Late received the forage treatments 8 weeks later. The most abundant FAs were C16:0 and C18:1c9 followed by C14:0 and C18:0. The milk proportion of the short and medium chained fatty acids (C6:0-C14:0) and C16:0 was higher (P < 0.0001) in Late than in Early grazing season, whilst the proportion of long chained FAs (C18:0, C18:1c9, C18:1t11, C18:2c9, 12, C18:2c9t11 and C18:3c9, 12, 15) were lower (P < 0.001). Goats grazing R yielded less milk (1.5 vs. 2.0 kg/d, P < 0.001) but with higher milk fat content (46 vs. 37 g/kg, P < 0.001) than C. The milk from goats on R had lower (P < 0.01) proportion of medium chained FAs (C10:0-C14:0) and C18:2c9, t11 but higher (P < 0.05) proportion of C18:0, C18:2c9,12 and C20:0 than C. Grazing compared to hay gave milk with lower proportion of medium chained FAs (C12:0-C14:0) and C16:0 but higher proportion of the long chained FAs C18:0, C18:1t11, C18:3c9, 12, C18:2c9, t11, C18:3c9, 12, 15, C20:0 than hay feeding. Higher supply of energy may explain higher proportion of de novo synthesised low and medium chained FA and lower proportion of long chained FA on C than on R, whilst higher supply of FA from mobilized fat may explain higher milk proportion of long chain FA in Early than in late season. Moreover, goats on pasture had likely higher supply of FA from dietary fat, which explain higher milk proportion of the long chained FA than on hay.

Abstract

Norwegian goat milk production is based on summer grazing on diverse forest or alpine rangeland, and the quality of these pastures is important for milk quantity and quality. We used n-alkanes and long chained alcohols found in plant wax as markers to estimate diet composition in goats grazing on a heterogeneous rangeland during two periods in summer; early (beginning of July) and late (end of August). The goats were fitted with GPS collars that recorded their position. Preliminary results show a diverse diet, where ferns, sedges, blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillis) and birch were preferred in early summer. In late summer the diet was particularly diverse, coinciding with a general decline in plant quality.

Abstract

The objective was to examine the effect of pasture type, and of grazing compared with hay feeding, on milk production and quality from dairy goats in early and late grazing season. Eighty goats were grouped according to genotype and lactation, and randomly divided into two groups with approximately 8 weeks difference in kidding date and start of feeding experiment, in Early and Late grazing season. At the start of the feeding experiment the goats were divided into 4 forage-treatment groups: R,forest rangeland pasture; C, cultivated pasture; HH, high quality hay; HL, low quality hay. Group R yielded less milk (1.5 vs. 2.0 kg d–1) and lower milk protein content (32 vs. 33 g kg–1), but higher milk fat (46 vs. 37 g kg–1) and DM content (120 vs. 113 g kg–1) than group C. Free fatty acids (FFA) content in milk was not affected by pasture type. The effects of pasture type on milk yield and milk constituents were similar in early and late grazing season. Grazing resulted in similar milk yield but higher milk fat (42 vs. 34 g kg–1), protein (32 vs. 30 g kg–1) and DM (117 vs. 106 g kg–1) content, and lower content of FFA (0.22 vs. 0.34 mEq L–1) than hay feeding

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Abstract

Phytoestrogens are hormone-like substances in plants that can substantially influence human health (positively or negatively), and when fed to dairy cows are transferred to their milk. The aim of this study was to investigate effects of varying the botanical composition and regrowth interval of legume-grass silage on silage and phytoestrogen intake and milk phytoestrogen concentrations. In one experiment, 15 Swedish Red dairy cows were fed two- or three-cut red clover-grass silage (designated R2 and R3, respectively), or two-cut birdsfoot trefoil-grass silage (B2). In a second experiment, 16 Norwegian Red dairy cows were fed short-term ley silage with red clover (S3) or long-term ley silage with white clover (L3), and the effects of supplementation with α-tocopherol were also tested. There were high concentrations of formononetin and biochanin A in all silage mixtures with red clover (R2, R3, and S3). The milk concentration of equol was highest on diet R2 (1,494 μg/kg milk). Due to metabolism of biochanin A, genistein and prunetin, their concentrations in milk and the apparent recovery were low. Coumestrol was only detected in silage mixtures S3 and L3, and its milk concentration was low. Concentrations of secoisolariciresinol and matairesinol were higher in silage mixtures B2 and L3, those with legume species other than red clover and the highest grass proportions. B2 also resulted in higher enterolactone concentration than the other diets (226 μg/kg milk). Lengthening the regrowth interval increased the intake of secoisolariciresinol and decreased recovery of lignans. Feeding long-term ley silage resulted in higher lignan milk concentrations, but lower isoflavone milk concentrations than feeding short-term ley silage. The apparent recovery of all phytoestrogens except prunetin was highest on B2, indicating that condensed tannins (present in the birdsfoot trefoil) affect rumen metabolism. There was no effect of α-tocopherol supplementation on milk concentrations of any of the measured phytoestrogens. There were variations in milk concentrations of phytoestrogens, especially of equol, among cows, which could not be explained by variations in diet composition or phytoestrogen intake. The results show that milk phytoestrogen concentration is strongly influenced by silage botanical composition and management, but questions regarding phytoestrogen metabolism remain to be answered.

Abstract

Norwegian goat milk production is based on summer grazing on diverse forest or alpine rangeland, and the quality of these pastures is important for milk quantity and quality. We used n-alkanes and long chained alcohols found in plant waxes as markers to estimate diet composition in goats grazing on a heterogeneous rangeland during two periods in summer; early (beginning of July) and late (end of August). Some of the goats were fitted with GPS collars that recorded their position. Preliminary results show a diverse diet, where ferns, sedges, blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillis) and birch (Betula pubescens) were preferred in early summer. In late summer the diet was particularly diverse, coinciding with a general decline in plant quality.

Abstract

In winter fed organic raised sheep inadequate plasma vitamin E levels is common and therefore supplementation is recommended. The objective of the present work was to test the supplementation of natural vitamin E and seaweed meal on the immune status of ewes and their offspring. Forty Norwegian White Sheep ewes were randomly allocated to three supplementation treatments: natural vitamin E, synthetic vitamin E, seaweed meal, and control. The feeding experiment lasted the entire indoor feeding period. Ewes and newborn lambs were vaccinated against different environmental microorganisms and pathogens. Different immunological parameters were measured. Supplementing the ewes with natural vitamin E had positive effect on immunity against Mycobacterium bovis in lambs. Seaweed, on the other hand, had negative effect on the passive transfer of maternal antibodies in lambs the first week after birth. The adaptive immunity was not affected by seaweed supplementation.

Abstract

The objective was to compare the effects of supplementing lactating dairy cows with synthetic (All-rac), natural (RRR) α-tocopheryl acetate or seaweed with a control on the concentration of α-tocopherol in blood and milk. Twenty four dairy cows in mid lactation, fed an organic feed ration, were randomly allocated to the four treatments in a replicated Latin square design. Plasma and milk α-tocopherol concentrations were higher in RRR and All-rac than in the other treatments and higher in RRR than in All-rac. RRR-α-tocopherol was the predominant steroisomer (> 86%), in both plasma and milk, whereas the remaining part was largely made up by the three synthetic 2R isomers. In cows fed the control, seaweed and RRR, the proportion of RRR-α-tocopherol in plasma and milk constituted more than 97% of the total α-tocopherol. The study demonstrated that dairy cows in mid and late lactation have preferential uptake of RRR-α-tocopherol compared to other stereoisomers.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of grazing on mountain (M) versus cultivated lowland pasture (C) on the performance and meat quality of suckling calves (Experiments 1 and 2). In addition, the effect of finishing on C after M on growth and meat quality was assessed (Experiment 2). Animals on C and M had on average similar live weight gain and carcass weight in the first experiment. However, the performance depended on year as gain and carcass weight was higher on C than on M in the first year and vice versa in the second year. In the second experiment the calves on M had lower gain and carcass weight than on C. Three weeks finishing on C after M compensated to some extent for the lower growth rate on M. Overall, the results indicate that mountain grazing may yield similar growth rates and slaughter weights as improved lowland pasture depending on year. There were only small effects of pasture type on carcass and meat quality traits like conformation, fatness, intramuscular fat and protein content, and fatty acid (FA) composition. The variation in FA composition could to a large extent be explained by difference in fatness with increase in monounsaturated and decrease in polyunsaturated FA with increasing intramuscular fat content, in turn varying between pasture type, experiment and year. There was a tendency that M led to higher proportion of C18:1n-9 and lower proportion of C18:1n-7 than C. which may be due to difference in milk and forage intake. Both pasture types resulted in meat with intramuscular fat with high nutritional value since the n-6/n-3 ratio was low. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Abstract

Progesterone profiles in Norwegian Red cows were categorized, and associations between the occurrence of irregularities in the profiles and the commencement of luteal activity were investigated. The cows were managed in 3 feeding trials from 1994 to 2001 and from 2005 to 2008 at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. The cows were followed from calving, and the milk samples collected represented 502 lactations from 302 cows. Milk samples for progesterone analysis were taken 3 times weekly from 1994 throughout 1998 and from 2005 to 2008 and 2 times weekly from 1999 to 2001. Commencement of luteal activity was defined as the first day of 2 consecutive measurements of progesterone concentration >= 3 ng/mL not earlier than 10 d after calving. Delayed ovulation type I was defined as consistently low progesterone concentration, <3 ng/mL for >= 50 d postpartum. Delayed ovulation type II was defined as prolonged interluteal interval with milk progesterone measurements <3 ng/mL for >= 12 d between 2 luteal phases. Persistent corpus luteum (PCL) type I was defined as delayed luteolysis with milk progesterone >= 3 ng/mL for >= 19 d during the first estrous cycle postpartum. Persistent corpus luteum type II was defined as delayed luteolysis with milk progesterone >= 3 ng/mL for >= 19 d during subsequent estrous cycles before first artificial insemination. Delayed ovulation type I was present in 14.7%, delayed ovulation type II in 2.8%, PCL type I in 6.7%, and PCL type II in 3.3% of the profiles. Commencement of luteal activity was related to milk yield, parity, PCL type I, and the summated occurrence of PCL type I and II. The least squares means for the interval to commencement of luteal activity were 24.2 d when PCL type I and II were present and 29.5 d when PCL type I and II were absent. The likelihood of pregnancy to first service was not affected in cows with a history of PCL when artificial insemination was carried out at progesterone concentrations <3 ng/mL (i.e., during estrus); however, cows that had experienced PCL were more likely to be inseminated during a luteal phase. The occurrence of delayed ovulation and PCL in Norwegian Red cows was less than that reported in most other dairy populations.

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Abstract

Relationships among commencement of luteal activity (C-LA), milk yield, and energy balance (EB) were investigated in 3 selection lines of Norwegian Red cows at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences from 1994 through 2001. The cows were selected for low genetic merit for milk yield (LMP), high genetic merit for milk yield (HMP), and a combination of high indices for milk yield and fertility (HI). Breeding values for fertility were based on 56-d nonreturn rate. The material included 268 lactations from 147 cows. Milk samples for progesterone analysis were drawn 3 times weekly from 1994 through 1998, and 2 times weekly from 1999 to 2001. Commencement of luteal activity was defined as the first 2 consecutive measurements of progesterone concentration > 3 ng/mL not earlier than 10 d after calving. Selection line was significantly related to C-LA, so that the least squares mean days from calving to C-LA were 22.5, 30.4, and 27.2 d for LMP, HMP, and HI cows, respectively. The HMP cows produced more milk than the LMP cows. The average milk yield in the sixth week of lactation was 24.0, 27.1, and 25.3 kg for LMP, HMP, and HI cows, respectively. The interval to C-LA decreased for the HMP and HI cows after phenotypic adjustment for EB in the model. Least squares means for the interval to C-LA were 23.2, 29.7, and 25.6 d for the LMP, HMP, and HI cows, respectively, in a model that included parity, selection lines, and EB as covariates. Cumulated EB during the first 4 wk of lactation, which itself differed between selection lines, did not fully account for differences in interval to C-LA between selection lines. Thus, the results of the present investigation indicate that selection for milk yield negatively affects C-LA over and above the effects caused by concurrent changes in EB. The increase in days to C-LA caused by selection for high yields can be reduced if selection for milk yield is combined with fertility in the breeding program.

Abstract

A continuous grazing experiment with three measurement periods, 3 weeks each, was conducted with 16 Norwegian Red dairy cows in mid lactation to compare milk quality when grazing red clover-grass (R) or botanical diverse pasture (D). The cows were offered either R or D from the start of grazing season in mid May until beginning of September 2008. Milk yield was measured and milk samples were collected in the last week in each period (end of June, beginning of August and end of August). Pasture type had no effect on milk yield and milk content of fat or protein. Cows grazing R had higher proportion of the fatty acids C18:0 (22.41 vs. 9.96, P<0.05) and C18:1t11 (0.58 vs. 0.44 g/100g FAME, P<0.05) and lower proportion of C16:0 (27.83 vs. 30.92, P<0.05) in their milk fat than the cows grazing D. The milk content of ?-tocopherol was higher in milk from R than D (3.01 vs. 2.64 µg/ml, P<0.05). The oxidative stability of the milk lipids were only minor affected by pasture type.

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Abstract

A 2 x 2 factorial continuous experiment was conducted with 28 Norwegian Red dairy cows in early lactation to compare milk content of phytoestrogens when feeding ad libitum white clover (WCS) or red clover (RCS) grass silages prepared from the second and third cut without and with 10 kg/d supplementation of a standard concentrate. The cows were offered either RCS or WCS for 88 d (period 1) and thereafter a mixed red clover-white clover-grass silage for 48 d (period 2). Total dry matter intake and milk yield were not affected by forage type but increased with concentrate supplementation. Intake of isoflavones was several times greater in RCS than in WCS, whereas intake of lignans was greater in WCS. Concentrate supplementation reduced the intake of most phytoestrogens. Compared with WCS, RCS diets yielded milk with a greater content of flavonoids, whereas milk from WCS diets had greater contents of the mammalian lignans enterodiol and enterolactone. The content of the isoflavan equol was particularly high in RCS diets. There was no apparent carryover effect of clover type on milk phytoestrogen content because there was no difference in content between the silage treatments 3 wk after the cows were transferred to the same silage diet (period 2). Concentrate supplementation reduced the milk contents of the flavonoids equol, biochanin A, and daidzein and increased the content of mammalian lignans. The effects of silage type and concentrate supplementation on milk contents of the individual phytoestrogens were related to the intake of the compound or its precursor, except for the effect of concentrate on mammalian lignans, for which the intake of the known precursors was also reduced. Overall, this study shows that feeding cows with silage containing red clover increases the milk content of flavonoids at both low and high concentrate supplementation levels, and decreases the content of nonflavonoids such as mammalian lignans, when compared with silage containing white clover. The increased content of phytoestrogens in milk may be important when the health benefits of milk are studied.

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Abstract

Red (RC) or white (WC) clover were grown in mixture with grasses, ensiled and offered to dairy cows in early lactation over two successive years (48 cows per year) to compare grassland yield, feed intake, milk production and milk quality. The crops were ensiled in round bales and proportional mixtures of the second and third cut prepared each year were used to ensure that the silage treatments were representative of the crop. In addition to silage type, concentrate supplementation, without and with (10 kg/day), was included as a factor in a 2 X 2 factorial, continuous experiment. Total dry matter (DM) yield, silage chemical composition and total DM intake was hardly affected by silage type. There was no effect of silage type on milk yield and milk constituents either, except for higher milk protein content (P < 0.05) on WC and higher milk fat content of C18:3n-3 (P < 0.001), C18:2n-6 (P < 0.05) fatty acids (FAs) and sum of polyunsaturated FA (P < 0.001) and lower n-6/n-3 FA ratio (P < 0.01) on RC. Concentrate supplementation increased total DM, N and net energy intakes (P < 0.001), milk yield (P < 0.001), milk fat (P < 0.01) and protein (P < 0.001) content, decreased the milk urea content (P < 0.001), and increased the milk fat content of short- and medium-chained FAs (< C16, P < 0.001), C18:0 (P < 0.01) and C18:2n-6 (P < 0.001), decreased the content of C16:0 (P < 0.05), C18:1t11 (P < 0.001) and C 18:3n-3 (P < 0.001), and increased then 6/n-3 FA ratio (P < 0.001). The effect of concentrate supplementation was not affected by silage type, except for milk protein content where the positive effect of supplementation was stronger on WC than on RC diets (P < 0.05). This study illustrates that the white- and red clover-grass mixtures investigated were widely similar with regard to their effects on grassland yield, silage intake and milk production and milk constituents, except for a higher milk fat content of C18:3n-3 and C18:2n-6 and lower n-6/n-3 FA ratio on red clover diets. Our findings also show that N conversion efficiency from feed to milk on pure forage diets is more sensitive to changes in dietary protein intake than silage diets containing cereal based concentrates. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine the effect of clover species on milk fatty acid (FA) composition. Lactating dairy cows were allocated to two groups and fed grass-clover silage containing either white clover (WC) or red clover (RC), without or with concentrate supplementation. No significant interaction of clover species with concentrate supplementation could be observed. RC milk had significantly higher proportion of polyunsaturated FAs (P<0.001), particularly C18:3n-3 (P<0.001), and contained a higher n-3/n-6 FA ratio (P<0.05) than WC milk. It is concluded that RC silage, independent of concentrate supply, yielded milk with more beneficial FA composition than WC silage.

Abstract

Organic farming movements have traditionally aimed at a harmonious balance between animal husbandry and crop production on the farm. We bring scientific evidences that this is a prerequisite to maximize the efficiency of nitrogen use. The use of imported feed increases the total nutrient losses to the environment per litre of milk produced.

Abstract

Organic farming movements have traditionally aimed at a harmonious balance between animal husbandry and crop production on the farm. We bring scientific evidences that this is a prerequisite to maximize the efficiency of nitrogen use. The use of imported feed increases the total nutrient losses to the environment per litre of milk produced.

Abstract

Early stage of grass maturity increased the total concentration of fatty acids (FA) and the concentration of alpha-linolenic acid in organic ley compared to normal stage. Organic ley with red clover resulted in higher concentration of alpha-linolenic acid than white clover. Unexpectedly, increased portions of clover in the ley resulted in lower total concentration of FA. Early harvested ley with red clover may result in forage with high concentrations of alpha-linolenic acid and thus provide a good basis for milk production with a healthy composition of milk fat with a low omega-6/omega-3 FA ratio.

Abstract

The effect of clover species and level of concentrate supplementation on milk fatty acid (FA) composition has been studied. White (WC) and red clover (RC) grown in mixture with grasses were preserved in round bales and fed to autumn calving dairy cows during the first 10 weeks of lactation. Milk FA was higher in linolenic acid, vaccenic acid and rumenic acid for RC than for WC silage (0.90 vs. 0.79 %, 1.52 vs. 1.36 %, 0.90 vs. 0.75 % for these 3 FA, respectively), and RC silage gave a higher n-3/n-6 milk FA ratio than WC (0.98 vs. 0.72). Concentrate supplementation decreased the level of vaccenic acid (1.21 vs. 1.68 %), linolenic acid (0.63 vs. 1.05 %) and the n-3/n-6 ratio (0.55 vs. 1.16) as compared with no supplementation, and the effect of supplementation was similar for the two silages

Abstract

The effect of clover species and level of concentrate supplementation on milk fatty acid (FA) composition has been studied. White (WC) and red clover (RC) grown in mixture with grasses were preserved in round bales and fed to autumn calving dairy cows during the first 10 weeks of lactation. Milk FA was higher in linolenic acid, vaccenic acid and rumenic acid for RC than for WC silage (0.90 vs. 0.79 %, 1.52 vs. 1.36 %, 0.90 vs. 0.75 % for these 3 FA, respectively), and RC silage gave a higher n-3/n-6 milk FA ratio than WC (0.98 vs. 0.72). Concentrate supplementation decreased the level of vaccenic acid (1.21 vs. 1.68 %), linolenic acid (0.63 vs. 1.05 %) and the n-3/n-6 ratio (0.55 vs. 1.16) as compared with no supplementation, and the effect of supplementation was similar for the two silages

Abstract

The effect of concentrate supplementation on nitrogen (N) intake and excretion in grazing lactating dairy cows was determined in three herds in Norway. Grazing trials were conducted with each herd in June and August for two consecutive years. The average supplementation was 1.8 (S.D. 2.1) kg DM/day, and the concentrate was based on grain with a N content ranging from 18.7 to 24 g/kg DM. Herbage DM and N intake were reduced with increasing supplementation, but total DM and N intake increased. Milk yield and protein content increased by 1.1 kg milk and 0.28 g protein per kg milk for each kg extra concentrate. Milk N excretion increased with increasing supplementation (6.5 g N/kg DM), and N utilisation improved by 11.7 g N per kg N intake per kg extra concentrate. Excretion of urine N and its share of total excreta N decreased by 4.0 and 9.2 g/kg concentrate, respectively. The reducing effect on urine N excretion of supplementation was, however, numerically low compared with other studies, most likely due to a high crude protein content of the concentrate used. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Abstract

Use of high energy feed supplementation can improve the protein retention by the cattle, and it has been suggested as a way to increase the nitrogen (N) effi-ciency of dairy production. However, in praxis feed supplementation is also used to increase the intensity of animal production above the level that can be supported by the farm's local plant production. A collection of published surveys showed that dairy farms that buy feed are considerably lees N efficient than farms that supply the entire animal ration from their own plant production. The total N emission to the environment per litre milk doubled when 30% of the total feed ration was produced outside the dairy farm. This was so for organic as well as conventional farms. Similar results can be expected for phosphorous and other nutrients. In order to ensure a sustainable and environmentally friendly organic production, imports of feed produced far away from the dairy farm should be strictly limited. We suggest a ceiling of 5 - 10% of total feed ration.

Abstract

Use of high energy feed supplementation can improve the protein retention by the cattle, and it has been suggested as a way to increase the nitrogen (N) effi-ciency of dairy production. However, in praxis feed supplementation is also used to increase the intensity of animal production above the level that can be supported by the farm's local plant production. A collection of published surveys showed that dairy farms that buy feed are considerably lees N efficient than farms that supply the entire animal ration from their own plant production. The total N emission to the environment per litre milk doubled when 30% of the total feed ration was produced outside the dairy farm. This was so for organic as well as conventional farms. Similar results can be expected for phosphorous and other nutrients. In order to ensure a sustainable and environmentally friendly organic production, imports of feed produced far away from the dairy farm should be strictly limited. We suggest a ceiling of 5 - 10% of total feed ration.

Abstract

White clover (WC, Trifolium repens L.) or red clover (RC, Trifolium pratense L.) was grown in mixture with grasses. Samples of the mixtures and pure clovers were taken during three cuts, and the fatty acids (FA) compositions were determined. The clover species had no significant effect on the individual FA contents of the leys (g kg-1 dry matter (DM)), nor on the total FA content. Pure clovers had lower content of all individual FA (8.2 vs. 12.4 g kg-1 DM) than mixtures; the contents of all FA decreased with increasing percentage of clover in the mixture, but the decrease was weaker for C18:3n-3 than for the other FA. Although pure WC and RC had similar FA contents, the relative proportions (percentage of total FA content) of C16:0 and C18:3n-3 differed; RC had a higher proportion of C18:3n-3 and a lower proportion of C16:0. These results are partly in contradiction with previously reported.

Abstract

White clover (WC, Trifolium repens L.) or red clover (RC, Trifolium pratense L.) was grown in mixture with grasses. Samples of the mixtures and pure clovers were taken during three cuts, and the fatty acids (FA) compositions were determined. The clover species had no significant effect on the individual FA contents of the leys (g kg-1 dry matter (DM)), nor on the total FA content. Pure clovers had lower content of all individual FA (8.2 vs. 12.4 g kg-1 DM) than mixtures; the contents of all FA decreased with increasing percentage of clover in the mixture, but the decrease was weaker for C18:3n-3 than for the other FA. Although pure WC and RC had similar FA contents, the relative proportions (percentage of total FA content) of C16:0 and C18:3n-3 differed; RC had a higher proportion of C18:3n-3 and a lower proportion of C16:0. These results are partly in contradiction with previously reported.

Abstract

Three multiparous cannulated dairy cows were used to test the effect of including 0, 23 % and 46 % red clover (RC) on dry matter (DM) basis in timothy (T) silage on nitrogen (N) intake, utilization and excretion. The cows were offered a fixed ration; 13 kg silage and 7 kg concentrate DM. The N intake and urine N excretion increased with increasing silage clover proportion. Milk yield was higher in the clover containing silages than in the pure grass silage, probably due to higher organic matter digestibility in RC containing silages. The efficiency in converting feed N into milk N, however, was higher in cows fed the timothy silage than in cows offered grass/clover silages. The efficiency in microbial protein synthesis in the rumen and the proportion of microbial N of the total N flow to duodenum was higher on the T diet than on the RC containing diets. However, the clover diets gave a slightly higher proportion of bypass N originating from the feed. So, the total flow of N to duodenum was the same for all three diets. In conclusion, increased proportion of RC in T silage did not improve the N utilization.