Yessica Guadalupe Zamora-Juárez, Mónica Arias-Ávila, Carlos Manuel Arriaga-Jordán, Carlos Galdino Martínez-García, Felipe López González


Background: Forage from small-grain cereals is an option to diversify feeding strategies in small-scale dairy systems (SSDS), due to their short cycle and ample adaptation. Mixtures of cereal species may have synergic advantages; however, grazing or ensiling is not always possible due to climatic factors, so forage crops are left to mature and lose quality. Urea treatment of whole-crop mature cereal mixtures may be an option to salvage forage that could not be grazed or ensiled. Objective: To evaluate the performance of dairy cows fed urea-treated mature whole-crop forage mixtures of triticale (TRT), rye (RYE), and barley (BLY), in the dry season for SSDS. Methodology: Treatment mixtures were TRT+RYE, TRT-BLY, and RYE+BLY. Fully mature cereal mixture crops were treated with 4 - 6% granular urea (plus water) on a fresh basis. Forage variables were analysed with a split-plot design. Whole-crop forage yields were 3.4 ton/ha, with highest yields for RYE-BLY. Crude protein content increased two-fold in treated forages, and dry matter digestibility was moderate with a mean estimated ME content of 7.9 MJ ME/kg DM. Performance was evaluated by an on-farm 3x3 Latin square experimental design repeated 3 times with nine Holstein cows, experimental periods were 14 days, of which 10 days were for adaptation to feeding and 4 days for sampling. Cows were offered daily 9.0 kg DM of urea-treated forage; complemented with 4.4 kg DM of concentrate, day-grazing, and 1.5 kg of cut pasture. Results: There were no statistical differences (P>0.05) for any of the animal variables. Urea treatment of whole-crop mature cereal mixtures resulted in a complementary moderate quality salvage forage for the dry season. Implications: The present study is presented as an alternative when the crops are in a state of advanced maturation and it is intended to modify the nutritional quality of the forages. Conclusion: The use of urea can be an alternative to improve the nutritional quality of forages.


Small-scale dairy systems; small-grain whole-crop cereal mixtures; barley; rye; triticale; forage alternatives; highlands; Mexico.

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URN: http://www.revista.ccba.uady.mx/urn:ISSN:1870-0462-tsaes.v27i2.50982

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.56369/tsaes.5098

Copyright (c) 2024 Felipe López González, Yessica Guadalupe Zamora-Juárez, Mónica Arias-Ávila, Carlos Manuel Arriaga-Jordán, Carlos Galdino Martínez-García

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