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13. Feeding Dairy Cows

There have been few studies in the USA with cows fed predominantly perennial grass-based TMR’s. We have conducted a number of these grass feeding trials with medium to high producing cows [GIS-30]. Rather than use forage to concentrate ratios, which favors the higher quality forage, rations were balanced for maximum NDF in the diet that would not limit intake. This allowed most cows to attain their intake potential with optimal ruminal fills. It also maximized the use of homegrown feeds, which had a favorable impact on farm nutrient balance. The use of high grass forage diets is feasible only if the forage is relatively high quality [GIS-32].

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Orchardgrass to be stored as silage for a dairy feeding trial.

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“Ag-Bag” unit for bagging grass silage used in feeding trials.