Pighetti's Dairy World > Posts > Dairy cows love crabgrass...
July 19
Dairy cows love crabgrass...

Cairy cows grazing crabgrass pasturesUs not so much. For those that love a well-manicured lawn, the appearance of crabgrass can have you running for your favorite means of obliterating it as quickly as possible. But to cows, crabgrass is a tasty and nutritious grass that loves the summer heat – critical when cooler season grasses such as ryegrass don't. This summer we are working with organic dairy farmers in the hot and humid southeast to evaluate how well dairy cows perform on a mixture of summer-loving grasses – including – you guessed it – crabgrass! Yesterday, I (Gina Pighetti) had the pleasure of working with two of our Animal Science undergraduate students (Cassie and Natalie) and three of our graduate students (Tori, Hannah, and Clay) to collect samples at two of our participating farms. We will measure the nutritional quality of the pasture – which is mostly crabgrass during the summer months, in combination with how efficiently the cow uses different forage mixtures to make milk and how well she maintains her body condition and health. To learn more about using crabgrass in combination with cooler season forages check out this recent Extension publication put together by members of our Southeast Organic Dairy project team: Pasture Forage Species SP802 (http://utbeef.com/…/Forages/Forage%2…/Publications/SP802.pdf) #USDA_NIFA #UTDairy #UTAnimalScience

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