The effect of lucerne silage on the intake and performance of high yielding dairy cows

Aims and Objectives
Lucerne is a crop that is widely grown in the rest of Europe and the USA but has not been accepted in the UK. The potential benefits in terms of being a home grown protein that has beneficial effects on rumen conditions in association with its ability to grow well in dry conditions has led to considerable interest in this crop. This project aims to provide dairy farmers with evidence on which to base decisions on the growth and feeding of this alternative home grown forage.

Expected outcomes
Lucerne establishment studies will be conducted to provide information on the effect of time of establishment, use of cover crop for establishment and variety, on dry matter yield and feeding value of Lucerne.

Feeding studies will be conducted to provide information on the effect of stage of maturity, rate of inclusion and chop length of Lucerne on the performance and health of dairy cow.

Start Date
March 2012

Completion Date
May 2015

Lead Contractor
Harper Adams University - Research Partnership study

Other Delivery Partners
SRUC
University of Reading

Funder
AHDB Dairy

For further information please contact: Debbie.McConnell@ahdb.org.uk or call 024 7647 8704