ISSN: 1659-2751

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Evaluation of a Rational Intensive Pasture System for a Dual Purpose Herd

Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess a rational intensive (R-I) grazing system aimed to produce milk with crossbred (Jersey X Brahman) cattle in the humid tropics of Costa Rica. Ten crossbred cows were used in this study; five were included in the module of the R-I grazing system and five in the conventional rotational grazing system (R-FPI); these systems were integrated by 2.02 ha and 24.6 ha, respectively. Thirty-five cows, not under study, were also in the R-FPI grazing system, additional to the five used in the treatment. The data were collected during eight months in 2014. A switch-back design was used to model total milk yield per cow; cow was fitted as random effect, period and treatment were fixed effects. There was not a significant effect of treatment on milk yield per cow. Milk yield of 2043 kg/ha and 1327 kg/ha, milk fat of 2.2 % and 2.6 %, non-fatty solids of 9.5 % and 9.8 %, and average somatic cell count of 153 000/mL and 201 000/mL were found for the module of R-I grazing and R-FPI grazing systems, respectively. The module of R-I grazing system produced 21.5 Mg/ha of dry matter 9.7 % crude protein; 64.2 % digestibility; and 5.8 % of acid detergent fiber and 11 % of neutral detergent fiber. The module of R-I grazing fixed 4.6 Mg/ha C and 17 Mg/ha CO2.

Key words: milk quality, C and CO2 sequestration, dual purpose cattle, Jersey x Brahman, milk yield per hectare, intensive rational system, biomass production.

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