Journal article

Evaluation of the n-alkane technique for estimating herbage dry matter intake of dairy cows offered herbage harvested at two different stages of growth in summer and autumn

MM Wright, E Lewis, B Garry, N Galvin, FR Dunshea, MC Hannah, MJ Auldist, WJ Wales, P Dillon, E Kennedy



The n-alkane technique for estimating herbage dry matter intake (DMI) of dairy cows was investigated in this experiment. Eight Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were offered perennial ryegrass ad libitum that had been harvested at two different herbage masses and during two different seasons, in order to assess the effect of herbage mass and season on the accuracy of the n-alkane technique. Two pre-harvested herbage mass treatments (low, target 1500 kg DM/ha versus high, target 4000 kg DM/ha, measured above 4 cm), were investigated in a crossover factorial arrangement within each of two seasons (summer versus autumn), in Ireland. Each season consisted of two periods, each 12 days in length. Cows ..

View full abstract


Funding Acknowledgements

The authors wish to sincerely thank the staff at Teagasc, Moorepark, in particular the farm staff at Teagasc, Moorepark for the care of the experimental cows and assistance during the experiment. This research was funded by Teagasc Core Funding (Ireland) and the Irish Dairy Levy Research fund (Ireland). The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (Australia), Dairy Australia (Australia) and The University of Melbourne (Australia) supported the travel costs in order to conduct this research.