Dietary options to reduce the environmental impact of milk production

Wilkinson, J.M. and Garnsworthy, P.C. (2016) Dietary options to reduce the environmental impact of milk production. Journal of Agricultural Science . pp. 1-14. ISSN 1469-5146

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Abstract

A range of options was explored to test the hypothesis that diets for dairy cows could be formulated to reduce the carbon footprint (CFP) of feed, increase efficiency of conversion of potentially human-edible feed into milk, increase nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and reduce methane (CH4) emissions per kg milk. Diets based on grazed grass, grass silage, maize silage or straw, supplemented with raw material feeds, were formulated to meet requirements for metabolizable energy and metabolizable protein for a range of daily milk yields. At similar levels of milk yield, NUE, predicted CH4 emissions and diet CFP were generally higher for diets based on maize silage than for those based on grazed grass, grass silage or straw. Predicted CH4 emissions and human-edible proportion decreased, while NUE increased with the increasing level of milk yield. It is concluded that there is potential to reduce the environmental impact of milk production by altering diet formulation, but the extent to which this might occur is likely to depend on availability of raw material feeds with low CFPs.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Biosciences > Division of Animal Sciences
Identification Number: 10.1017/S0021859616000757
Depositing User: Garnsworthy, Phil
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2017 12:07
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2017 23:11
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/39513

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