Date of this Version
The objective of this study was to determine if feeding carbohydrate supplements with faster degradation rates than corn to dairy cows grazing ryegrass would improve nitrogen capture, milk production, and components. Treatments were grain supplements based on: 1) corn (CORN), 2) barley and molasses (BM), or 3) citrus pulp and molasses (CM). For BM and CM, the diet composition was the same as that of CORN except that a portion of the corn was replaced with barley and molasses or citrus pulp and molasses, respectively, on a dry matter basis. Cows grazed ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) pasture. Yield of milk, 3.5% fat-corrected milk, energy-corrected milk, and milk fat, as well as milk fat percentage, were not different among treatments. True milk protein percentage was higher for CORN (2.81%) compared with CM (2.70%), but was not different for BM (2.77%). However, true milk protein yield was not different among treatments. Milk urea N was higher for BM(11.43 mg/dL) compared with both CORN and CM (average: 9.95 mg/dL). There were no differences among CORN, BM, and CM treatments for overall BUN (average: 10.60 mg/dL). At 0400 h, however, cows on CORN had higher BUN than cows on CM(11.43 vs. 9.96 mg/dL), but there were no differences between CORN and BM (average: 11.21 mg/dL) or BM and CM (average: 10.48 mg/dL), and there were no differences among treatments at other time points. The CM diet might have shown more advantage if the pasture crude protein content was higher. Partial replacement of corn with citrus pulp for grazing cows should be further studied using pasture with higher crude protein content. Although cows receiving CM and BM did not produce more milk than cows on CORN, if barley or citrus pulp is less expensive than corn, they may be viable replacements for a portion of the corn supplement for grazing cows.