The digestibility of the organic matter (DOM) of a forage, whether estimated in vitro via modelling or determined in vivo via experimentation, is a nutritive value considered in isolation. A ration, however, generally consists of a mixture of different forages and concentrates. This trial – consisting of an in vivo study with wethers – studies the changes in DOM of different forages (herbage, grass silage, hay, and maize silage) distributed in different proportions (100–0, 80– 20, 50–50, 20–80, and 0–100 %, respectively) in two-component combinations. The DOM of the forage types changed (without statistically significant differences) as a function of the proportions in the mixture and the associated feed; the mean DOM deviation of the mixtures was 2.7 ± 1.1 percentage points. The greatest differences in DOM (4.3 percentage points) were found for mixtures of hay from different cuts or hay combined with maize silage. In 42 % of the cases the highest DOM was identified when the forage in question accounted for 80 % of a mixture. The DOM of the combinations obtained by adding the in vivo DMO of the individual components is slightly underestimated (r = 0.92). Taking into account the estimated DOM scores of the forages, the DOM scores of the combinations move further away from the in vivo values (r = 0.56). The experiment shows that each forage interacts differently in the combinations and as a function its proportions in the mixture.
Livestock can convert grassland and by-products into valuable food. But how many animals would Switzerland need if arable land were primarily used for food production instead of animal feed?
Which stakeholders in the dairy sector have an influence on the productive life of dairy cows? Research results from FiBL and Agroscope suggest that broad-based cooperation is needed to create structures for a longer productive life.
Agriculture is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions. Agroscope showed that for dairy cattle housing, feed composition plays a role in these emissions as well as wind and temperature.