Effects of perennial ryegrass cultivars on intake, digestibility, and milk yield in dairy cows

B.M. Tas, H.Z. Taweel, H.J. Smit, A. Elgersma, J. Dijkstra, S. Tamminga

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35 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of 8 diploid perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) cultivars on dry matter (DM) intake, DM digestibility, and milk yield (MY) of dairy cows were evaluated in the summer of 2000 and 2001. Each summer, herbage was harvested daily and stall-fed to 12 dairy cows during six 2-wk periods. Six cultivars were fed in 3 periods (1, 3, and 5) according to a double 3 x 3 Latin square design. In the other periods (2, 4, and 6), 2 cultivars were fed in a repeated measurement design. Herbage mass and leaf blades in the sward canopy varied among cultivars, but differences were not consistent between years. The largest differences in herbage composition were found in water-soluble carbohydrate content, followed by crude protein content. only small differences were found in the neutral detergent fiber (NDF) content. A higher water-soluble carbohydrate content was found in 2 cultivars in both years, whereas ranking of cultivars in crude protein and NDF content was not consistent with years. Dry matter intake and MY were not affected by cultivar. In both years, DM digestiblity was high (>77%), with very small differences among cultivars in 2000 (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3240-3248
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • water-soluble carbohydrate
  • lolium-perenne
  • rumen fermentation
  • white clover
  • nitrogen
  • ruminants


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