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Article

Nitrogen Balance of Dairy Cows Divergent for Milk Urea Nitrogen Breeding Values Consuming Either Plantain or Perennial Ryegrass

1
Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University, P.O. Box 85084, Lincoln 7647, New Zealand
2
USDA-ARS, Livestock Nutrient Management Research Unit, 300 Simmons Drive, Unit 10, Bushland, TX 79012, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2021, 11(8), 2464; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082464
Received: 19 July 2021 / Revised: 19 August 2021 / Accepted: 20 August 2021 / Published: 22 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
We studied the nitrogen excretion patterns of cows selected for divergent nitrogen excretion consuming either ryegrass or plantain. Both the use of a plantain diet as well as the use of low milk urea nitrogen breeding values were found to reduce the concentration of urinary urea nitrogen per urination event compared to cows with a high milk urea nitrogen breeding value and cows consuming a ryegrass-based diet. These results indicate that both the use of cows with low milk urea nitrogen breeding values and the use of a plantain diet are tools that temperate pastoral dairy production systems can use to reduce nitrogen loses.
Inefficient nitrogen (N) use from pastoral dairy production systems has resulted in environmental degradation, as a result of excessive concentrations of urinary N excretion leaching into waterways and N2O emissions from urination events into the atmosphere. The objectives of this study were to measure and evaluate the total N balance of lactating dairy cows selected for milk urea N concentration breeding values (MUNBVs) consuming either a 100% perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) or 100% plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) diet. Sixteen multiparous lactating Holstein-Friesian × Jersey cows divergent for MUNBV were housed in metabolism crates for 72 h, where intake and excretions were collected and measured. No effect of MUNBV was detected for total N excretion; however, different excretion characteristics were detected, per urination event. Low MUNBV cows had a 28% reduction in the concentration of urinary urea nitrogen (g/event) compared to high MUNBV cows when consuming a ryegrass diet. Cows consuming plantain regardless of their MUNBV value had a 62% and 48% reduction in urinary urea nitrogen (g/event) compared to high and low MUNBV cows consuming ryegrass, respectively. Cows consuming plantain also partitioned more N into faeces. These results suggest that breeding for low MUNBV cows on ryegrass diets and the use of a plantain diet will reduce urinary urea nitrogen loading rates and therefore estimated nitrate leaching values, thus reducing the environmental impact of pastoral dairy production systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: N excretion; environmental impact; plantain; ryegrass; dairy cows N excretion; environmental impact; plantain; ryegrass; dairy cows
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marshall, C.J.; Beck, M.R.; Garrett, K.; Barrell, G.K.; Al-Marashdeh, O.; Gregorini, P. Nitrogen Balance of Dairy Cows Divergent for Milk Urea Nitrogen Breeding Values Consuming Either Plantain or Perennial Ryegrass. Animals 2021, 11, 2464. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082464

AMA Style

Marshall CJ, Beck MR, Garrett K, Barrell GK, Al-Marashdeh O, Gregorini P. Nitrogen Balance of Dairy Cows Divergent for Milk Urea Nitrogen Breeding Values Consuming Either Plantain or Perennial Ryegrass. Animals. 2021; 11(8):2464. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082464

Chicago/Turabian Style

Marshall, Cameron J., Matthew R. Beck, Konagh Garrett, Graham K. Barrell, Omar Al-Marashdeh, and Pablo Gregorini. 2021. "Nitrogen Balance of Dairy Cows Divergent for Milk Urea Nitrogen Breeding Values Consuming Either Plantain or Perennial Ryegrass" Animals 11, no. 8: 2464. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082464

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