Feeding of Whole Sugar Cane to Dairy Cattle during the Dry Season

  • Suksombat, W. (School of Animal Production Technology, Institute of Agricultural Technology, Suranaree University of Technology) ;
  • Mernkrathoke, P. (School of Animal Production Technology, Institute of Agricultural Technology, Suranaree University of Technology)
  • Received : 2004.06.17
  • Accepted : 2004.11.06
  • Published : 2005.03.01


A study was conducted to determine the effect of feeding chopped whole sugar cane compared to corn silage on performances of dairy cows during the dry season. Twenty four Holstein Friesian crossbred (>87.5% Holstein Friesian) lactating dairy cows in mid lactation; averaging 16.5${\pm}$2.0 kg of milk, 121${\pm}$22 days in milk, 54.5${\pm}$4.5 months old and 440${\pm}$31 kg live weight, were stratified for milk yield, days in milk, age, stage of lactation and body weight, and then randomly allocated to two treatment groups (12 cows in each group). The first group was fed corn silage together with commercial concentrate while the second group was fed chopped whole sugar cane together with commercial concentrate. All cows consumed similar DM, however, cows on corn silage consumed more CP while cows on chopped whole sugar cane consumed more $NE_{LP}$. No significant differences in performances between the two groups were observed except for final live weight and body weight change. Cows on chopped whole sugar cane showed higher final live weight and gained more weight than cows on corn silage. The present study clearly indicates that chopped whole sugar cane can be fed to lactating dairy cows, while giving similar milk yield to corn silage.


  1. Agnew, R. E. and T. Yan. 2000. Impact of recent research on energy feeding systems for dairy cattle. Livest. Prod. Sci. 66:197-215.
  2. Agricultural Research Council. 1980. The Nutrient Requirements of Ruminant Livestock. 2nd Edition. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau, Slough, UK. p. 351.
  3. AOAC. 1990. Official Methods of Analysis. 15th Ed. Association of Official Analytical Chemists. Washington DC.
  4. Creek, M. J. and H. A. Squire. 1976. Use of a slaughter technique for technical and economic evaluation of sugar cane and maize silage based rations. Trop. Anim. Prod. 1:56-65.
  5. Goering, H. K. and P. J. Van Soest. 1970. Forage Fiber Analysis. A RS/USDA Agricultural Handbook. Washington DC.
  6. Kawashima, T., W. Sumamal, P. Pholsen, R. Chaithiang and W. Boonpakdee. 2002. The use of sugar cane stalk for feeding lactating cows. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 15(2):205-208.
  7. Linberg, J. E. 1985. Estimation of rumen degradability of feed proteins with the in sacco technique and various in vitro methods: A review. Acta Agric. Scand. (Suppl.) 25:64-97.
  8. National Research Council. 2001. Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle. 7th Edition. National Academy Press. Washington DC. p. 340.
  9. Obara, Y., H. Fuse, F. Terada, M. Shibata, A. Kawabata, M. Sutoh, K. Hodate and M. Matsumoto. 1994. Influence of sucrose supplementation on nitrogen kinetics and energy metabolism in sheep fed with Lucerne hay cubes. J. Agric. Sci. 123:121-127.
  10. Oldham, J. D. 1984. Protein-energy interrelationships in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 67:1090-1114.
  11. Oskov, E. R. and I. McDonald. 1979. The estimation of protein degradability in the rumen from incubation measurements weighted according to rate of passage. J. Agric. Sci. 92:499-503.
  12. Pate, F. M. 1981. Fresh chopped sugar cane in growing-finishing steer diets. J. Anim. Sci. 53:881-888.
  13. Pate, F. M., J. Alvarez, J. D. Phillips and B. R. Eiland. 2002. Sugar cane as a Cattle Feed: Production and Utilization. Bulletin No. 844. Department of Animal Sciences, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
  14. SAS Institute Inc. 1985. SAS User’s Guide: Statistics, 5th Ed., Cary, NC.
  15. Steel, R. D. G. and J. H. Torrie. 1986. Principles and Procedures of Statistics. A Biometrical Approach. 5th Ed. McGraw-Hill International Book Company, New York.
  16. Sutoh, M., Y. Obara and S. Miyamoto. 1996. The effect of sucrose supplementation on kinetics of nitrogen, ruminal propionate and plasma glucose in sheep. J. Agric. Sci. 126:99-105.
  17. Sutton, J. D. 1989. Altering milk composition by feeding. J. Dairy Sci. 72:2801-2814.
  18. Van, D. T. T. and I. Ledin. 2002. Effects of different foliages and sugar cane in the diet in late pregnancy on ewe and lamb performance. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. S. 15(6):828-833

Cited by

  1. Effect of feed supplements on dry season milk yield and profitability of crossbred cows in Honduras vol.45, pp.5, 2013,
  2. Productivity and physiological response of lactating Holstein cows to sugarcane supplementation and evaporative cooling under heat-stress pp.1469-5146, 2018,