Pasture species and drought impact on milk yield 1. Milk yield responses in the Waikato


  • E.R. Thom
  • D.A. Clark
  • V.T. van Vught
  • C.D. Waugh



Milksolids (MS) production of Jersey cows grazing different pasture species mixtures over summer and autumn is described for the first two years of a 4-year trial. Four pasture mixtures were established after cultivation in autumn 1996, and were compared with existing ryegrass-white clover pastures. The mixtures were: (1) high-endophyte perennial ryegrass-white clover (2) tall fescue, phalaris, cocksfoot, white clover, red clover (3) same as (2) plus paspalum (4) endophyte-free ryegrass, timothy, white clover, red clover and (5) existing high-endophyte ryegrass, white clover. Milk tests were in January-February of 1997 and 1998. Cows were offered a single pasture allowance. Cows on high-endophyte ryegrass mixtures consistently produced low MS yields compared with those on tall fescue mixtures and endophyte-free ryegrass. In 1998, responses for cows grazing ryegrass-white clover (5 and 1) were significantly less than from tall fescue-based pastures (2 and 3) (0.74 vs. 0.86 kg/cow/day), and responses from cows on ryegrass/timothy based pastures (4), were better than for all others (0.96 kg/cow/day). Important determinants of the MS responses were the high rust infection and low contents of white clover in the high-endophyte ryegrass (1) pastures, and the high contents of red clover in the tall fescue and endophyte-free ryegrass-based pastures. Keywords: cocksfoot, cow grazing, irrigation, milk production, pasture quality, perennial ryegrass, phalaris, red clover, tall fescue, timothy, triple mix, white clover







Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 > >>