Browsing by Subject "grass silage"

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  • Nyqvist, Krista (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Tiivistelmä/Referat – Abstract The long period of indoor feeding in Finland emphasizes the importance of good quality silage in dairy cow nutrition. Silage additives are used to ensure successful ensiling. Silage inoculants enhance silage lactic acid fermentation when lactic acid bacteria and sometimes enzymes and other fermentative bacteria are added to silage. Lactic acid content has been higher and pH lower in silages treated with inoculant than in silages without any additive. Aerobic stability of silage and total mixed ration (TMR) has been better with silage treated using inoculant compared to silage without additives. In some studies, the digestibility of dry matter and organic matter has been better with inoculant-treated silage. Silage dry matter intake has been improved with silage treated with inoculants in studies performed with dairy cows, growing beef cattle and sheep. Milk yield has increased in some studies with biological additive when compared to silage without additives. The aim of this study was to examine whether ensiling grass silage with biological additive influences feed intake or milk production of dairy cows in comparison to silage without inoculant. The study was conducted at the research farm of University of Helsinki. First cut timothy – meadow fescue sward was cut and wilted for 46 hours. The grass was harvested in round bales wrapped with 8 film layers either using silage inoculant (treatment B, with lactic acid bacteria and enzymes) or without additive (treatment A). A series of five bales of each silage were prepared one after another. The grass had dry matter of 183 g/kg before wilting and 328 g/kg after wilting. Water soluble carbohydrate concentration was 121 g/kg dry matter (DM). The silages were stored for 174 days before the beginning of the feeding trial. There were no differences in silage fermentation quality. Both silages had high concentration of lactic acid (100 g/kg DM). The dry matter contents were 296 and 294 g/kg and pH 4.25 and 4.31 for the inoculated silage and the silage without additive, respectively. Eight Finnish Ayrshire cows (95 days in milk, standard deviation 25.9) of second or later parity were used. The cows were kept in tie stalls during the trial. A double-reversal design was used with two treatments sequences (ABBA or BAAB) of 21 days each. The cows were fed with total mixed ration consisting of 65% (dry matter basis) of silage (inoculated or without additive), 20% of concentrate mixture, 13% rapeseed meal and 1.5% mineral supplement. Dry matter intake was 1,1 kg/d higher with the inoculated silage (p=0.01) than with untreated silage. Digestibility of dietary dry matter (p=0.02) and organic matter (p=0.02) was lower with inoculated than untreated silage. There was no difference in milk production between treatments (p=0.65). This study indicates that good fermentation quality of wilted (DM 300 g kg) grass silage can be achieved without additives. The increased dry matter intake or the lower digestibility of the diet containing inoculated silage cannot be explained by the silage composition or fermentation profile.
  • Huisman-Dellago, David (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Dairy farms account for a large portion of the greenhouse gas emissions in the planet. Since cow manure provides a good medium for anaerobic digestion, this study analyzes the economic feasibility of installing a biogas plant adjacent to a 200-cow farm in Finland. The farms in this study produce only cow manure and grass silage to feed the digester. This paper focuses in comparing different scenarios such as electricity production for farm needs and the production of biofuels such as compressed biomethane as an additional business activity. After designing the farm economic model and the biogas installation, we provide an economic analysis of each scenario. The first one shows that it is not feasible to run the biogas business model based only on electricity savings for the farm. The second one proves that additional revenue streams such as biofuel production can revitalize and strengthen the financial model of the plant. Then, the sensitivity and reliability of the model is discussed by providing reasons (i.e. Finnish electricity tariff system) for the outcome of the results. The model reinforces the idea that farms must base their biogas business model on alternative side-streams and do not rely on energy production only. For further research, it is recommended that real life farm business models are incorporated as input data and a proven plant and CHP engine energy balance is secured.
  • Salin, S.; Vanhatalo, A.; Jaakkola, S.; Elo, K.; Taponen, J.; Boston, R. C.; Kokkonen, T. (2018)
    High energy intake in the dry period has reportedly had adverse effects on mobilization of body reserves, dry matter intake, and productivity of dairy cows. We investigated whether grass silage (GS) fed ad libitum (high energy intake, HEI; 141% of daily metabolizable energy requirements) in an 8-wk dry period affects metabolic adaptation-specifically, peripheral insulin resistance-compared with a total mixed ration consisting of GS, wheat straw, and rapeseed meal (55/40/5%; controlled energy intake, CEI; 108% of metabolizable energy/d) fed ad libitum. Multiparous Ayrshire dairy cows (n = 16) were used in a randomized complete block design until 8 wk after parturition. Commercial concentrates were fed 1 and 2 kg/d during the last 10 to 6 and 5 to 0 d before the expected calving date, respectively. Postpartum, a similar lactation diet with ad libitum access to GS and increasing concentrate allowance (maximum of 16 kg/d) was offered to all. The HEI group gained more body weight and had higher plasma insulin, glucose, and beta-hydroxybutyrate concentrations than the CEI group prepartum. Postpartal plasma glucose tended to be higher and milk yield was greater from wk 5 onward for HEI compared with CEI cows. An intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) was performed at -13 +/- 5 d and 9 +/- 1 d relative to calving. The HEI cows had greater insulin response to glucose load and smaller area under the response curve for glucose than CEI cows in prepartal IVGTT. Thus, compensatory insulin secretion adapted to changes in insulin sensitivity of the peripheral tissues, preserving glucose tolerance of HEI cows. Higher insulin levels were needed in HEI cows than in CEI cows to elicit a similar decrement of nonesterified fatty acid concentration in prepartal wurr, suggesting reduced inhibition of lipolysis by insulin in HEI cows before parturition. In conclusion, high energy intake of moderately digestible GS with low concentrate feeding in the close-up dry period did not have adverse effects on metabolic adaptation, insulin sensitivity, and body mobilization after parturition. Instead, this feeding regimen was more beneficial to early-lactation performance than GS-based total mixed ration diluted with wheat straw.
  • von Konow, Helena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The feeding behavior of beef cattle is complex and varies depending on different factors such as the nutritive value of the feed, the individual and the environment. By optimizing and improving the feed efficiency, the economics of the production increases. Knowledge of feed intake and feeding behavior can be used to optimize the production and the health and well-being of the animals. The aim of this study was to determine how the cut of grass silage affects the feeding behaviour of bulls and thereby how to optimize the use of silage for animal growth. Simmental bulls got three different silage cuts. The first cut was taken on 25th June (ES1), the second cut on 11th August (ES2) and the third cut on 3rd October (ES3). The feeding was given as total mixed ration (TMR) ad libitum. Each TMR group had 15 bulls (TES1, TES2, TES3). Each TMR group had a diet based on grass silage (550 g/kg DM), the only difference being if the silage was of the first, second or third cut. That way the nutritive value differed among the TMR. Individual information about duration, when, and how much the bulls ate was recorded by the Growsafesystem. The average for the bulls in the feeding groups was calculated based on the individual data. This Master´s thesis researched feed intake, feeding frequency, time for head down, time for feed intake and feed intake rate during one month when the body weight of the bulls was on average 546 kg in the beginning and 607 kg at the end of the study. The dry matter for the three cuts was 201 g/kg for ES1, 298 g/kg for ES2 and 354 g/kg for ES3. D-value was 719, 685 and 739 g/kg DM, respectively. The bulls that ate ES3 had higher dry matter intake (12,1 kg DM/d) and eating rate (94,9 g DM/min) than the two other groups. The bulls that ate ES1 and ES2 had the same feed utilization, which was better than the feed utuilization of the bulls that were given ES3. Feeding frequency was about 15 times per day for all groups. The second cut had the lowest digestibility and the bulls eating the second cut had the longest feed intake time. The bulls that ate the third cut had the highest dry matter intake, but the lowest feed utilization. The study indicates that the D-value of the grass silage used in TMR has a clear impact on dry matter intake of the TMR and eating time and eating rate of the animal.
  • Ruuskanen, Hanna-Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Agriculture contributes greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to the environment. Agricultural emissions represent 12 % of total GHG emissions in Finland. Nitrous oxide (N2O) has atmospheric lifetime of 110 years and its global warming potential is higher than that of carbon dioxide. Ammonia (NH3) emitted from animal manure is a major air pollutant contributing the formation of aerosols. Nitrate (NO3-) leaching to ground and surface waters together with phosphorus (P) could cause eutrophication. It is important to decrease these emissions because global emissions from agriculture continues to increase every year. The relationship between nitrogen intake and nitrogen excretion was investigated using data from 21 peer-reviewed publications. The objective of this research was to evaluate how dietary proportion of legume silages affect the partitioning of nitrogen excretion between urine, feces and milk in dairy cattle. Effects of legume silage proportion on dry matter intake (DMI), crude protein level, milk yield, energy corrected milk yield (ECM) and milk components were also investigated. The statistical analysis was conducted using regression analysis with linear and quadratic mixed models. Increased legume content in the diet increased nitrogen intake. Replacement of grass silage with clover silage increased the amount of nitrogen excreted in urine and feces, and increased the proportion of nitrogen excreted in urine. At the same time the proportion nitrogen excreted in milk decreased. Clover increased milk yield but milk fat concentration decreased. Replacement of maize silage with clover silage increased nitrogen excretion in feces. The proportion of nitrogen excreted in milk decreased. Urine N excretion (g/d or %) was not affected by the level of clover in the diet. Quadratic model showed that increasing the proportion of clover it the diet decreased milk and ECM yields curvilinearly. When maize silage was replaced with alfalfa silage milk and ECM yields increased curvilinearly to the point where alfalfa proportion reached 30 % of the dietary dry matter. Alfalfa also increased fecal N excretion but nitrogen excretion in urine and milk decreased. According to the results replacement of grass or maize silage with legume silage decrease nitrogen efficiency. This is evidenced by the low efficiency of converting dietary nitrogen into milk nitrogen, with a concomitant increase in urine or fecal N.