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Methane Emissions from Dry Cows Fed Grass or Legume Silage

  • Received : 2009.09.15
  • Accepted : 2009.11.25
  • Published : 2010.05.01

Abstract

Using an open-circuit system, we compared the methane ($CH_4$) emission from dry cows fed first-cut Timothy silage ($1^{st}$ TY), second-cut Timothy silage ($2^{nd}$ TY), second-cut Italian ryegrass silage ($2^{nd}$ IR), third-cut Italian ryegrass silage ($3^{rd}$ IR), or second-cut red clover silage ($2^{nd}$ RC) as the sole feed. The methane emission ranged from 258.2 L $day^{-1}$ to 396.5 L $day^{-1}$. The methane emission from dry cows fed red clover silage was relatively lower than that from dry cows fed grass silage. However, the methane emission per unit digestible neutral detergent fiber (NDF) intake (dNDFI) did not differ significantly between the experimental silages. The methane emission was significantly correlated with the NDF intake and digestibility. Methane emission had a significant correlation with the quadratic function of dNDFI. The differences in the daily volume of methane emission from cows fed different forages can be explained by dNDFI.

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