AJPS  Vol.5 No.7 , March 2014
Comparison of Brown Midrib Sorghum with Conventional Sorghum Forage for Grazing Dairy Cows
Abstract: A brown midrib (BMR) sorghum pasture was compared with normal sorghum for its effects on performance of Holstein cows in midlactation in terms of milk production and composition at grazing over three periods (Period 1: 20/01 to 31/01, Period 2: 17/02 to 28/02, Period 3: 19/03 to 30/03). Forty Holstein cows were grouped according to pre-experimental milk production (22.4 ± 4.2 kg/d milk), live weight (530 ± 25 kg) and lactation stage (127 ± 63 days) and assigned randomly to one of the two experimental pasture. Pasture was assigned on equal basis at an allowance 25 kg DM/cow/day (above 10 cm), assuming a 65% forage utilization and cows received 4 kg of concentrate per day. Simultaneously, both pastures were evaluated with sheep, to analyze digestibility at every grazing period. The BMR sorghum supported higher FCM than normal sorghum (18.5 vs. 17.8 l/day, P < 0.05). Additionally, production of milk components was greater (+52 g/day/cow and +36 g/day/cow for fat and protein respectively, P < 0.05), with fewer intake of concentrate (-0.4 kg/day/cow, P < 0.05) when compared with cows grazing normal sorghum. Those results are in accordance with greater (P < 0.05) total digestive tract DM, OM and NDF in vivo digestibilities for BMR sorghum (65.0, 67.1, 65.9 respectively) than for normal sorghum (60.3, 62.0, 61.3 respectively). The increased digestibility of BMR sorghum must be associated with the compositional differences on fiber which allowed a higher cell wall digestion. Results of this study indicate that the BMR sorghum hybrid outperformed the normal sorghum hybrid resulting in a higher performance per cow with lower concentrate consumption compared with normal sorghum.
Cite this paper: Astigarraga, L. , Bianco, A. , Mello, R. and Montedónico, D. (2014) Comparison of Brown Midrib Sorghum with Conventional Sorghum Forage for Grazing Dairy Cows. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5, 955-962. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.57108.

[1]   Pedersen, J.F. (1996) Annual Forages: New Approaches for C-4 Forages. In: Janick, J., Ed., Progress in New Crops, ASHS Press, Alexandria, 246-251.

[2]   Porter, K.S., Axtell, J.D., Lechtenberg, V.L. and Colenbrander, V.F. (1978) Phenotype, Fiber Composition, and in Vitro Dry Matter Disappearance of Chemically Induced Brown Midrib (bmr) Mutants of Sorghum. Crop Science, 18, 205-208.

[3]   Fritz, J.O., Cantrell, R.P., Lechtenberg, V.L., Axtell, J.D. and Hertel, J.M. (1981) Brown Midrib Mutants in Sudangrass and Grain Sorghum. Crop Science, 21, 706-709.

[4]   Cherney, J.H., Cherney, D.J.R., Akin, D.E. and Axtell, J.D. (1991) Potential of Brown-Midrib, Low-Lignin Mutants for Improving Forage Quality. Advances in Agronomy, 46, 157-198.

[5]   Fritz, J.O., Moore, K.J. and Jaster, E.H. (1990) Digestion Kinetics and Cell Wall Composition of Brown Midrib Sorghum × Sudangrass Morphological Components. Crop Science, 30, 213-219.

[6]   Grant, R.J., Haddad, S.G., Moore, K.J. and Pedersen, J.F. (1995) Brown Midrib Sorghum Silage for Midlactation Dairy Cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 78, 1970-1980.

[7]   Dann, H.M., Grant, R.J, Cotanch, K.W., Thomas, E.D., Ballard, C.S. and Rice, R. (2008) Comparison of Brown Midrib Sorghm-Sudangrass with Corn Silage on Lactational Performance and Nutrient Digestibility in Holstein Dairy Cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 91, 663-672.

[8]   Lusk, S.W., Karau, P.K., Balogu, D.O. and Gourley, L.M. (1984) Brown Midrib Sorghum or Corn Silage for Milk Production. Journal of Dairy Science, 67, 1739-1744.

[9]   Aydin, G., Grant, R.J. and O’Rear, J. (1999) Brown Midrib Sorghum in Diets for Lactating Dairy Cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 82, 2127-2135.

[10]   Leborgne, R. (1983) Antecedentes Tecnicos y Metodologia Para Presupuestacion en Establecimientos Lecheros. Edition Hemisferio Sur, Montevideo, 54p.

[11]   AOAC, Association of Official Analytical Chemists (1980) Official Methods of Analysis. 16th Edition, AOAC, Arlington.

[12]   Van Soest, P.J., Robertson, J.B. and Lewis, B.A. (1991) Methods of Dietary Fiber, Neutral Detergent Fiber and Non-Starch Polysaccharides in Relation to Animal Nutrition. Journal of Dairy Science, 74, 3583-3597.

[13]   SAS Institute (2001) SAS System for Microsoft Windows. Release 8.2. SAS Institute Inc., Cary.

[14]   Casler, M.D., Pederson, J.F. and Undersander, D.J. (2003) Forage Yield and Economic Losses Associated with the Brown Midrib Trait in Sudangrass. Crop Science, 43, 782-789.

[15]   Ruiz, T.M., Bernal, E., Staples, C.R., Sollenberger, L.E. and Gallaher, R.N. (1995) Effect of Dietary Neutral Detergent Fiber Concentration and Forage Source on Performance of Lactating Cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 78, 305-319.

[16]   Wedig, C.L., Jaster, E.H., Moore, K.J. and Merchen, N.R. (1987) Rumen Turnover and Digestion of Normal and Brown Midrib Sorghum × Sudangrass Hybrid Silage in Dairy Cattle. Journal of Dairy Science, 70, 1220-1227.

[17]   Ledgerwood, D.N., DePeters, E.J., Robinson, P.H., Taylor, S.J. and Heguy, J.M. (2009) Assessment of a Brown Midrib (BMR) Mutant Gene on the Nutritive Value of Sudangrass Using in Vitro and in Vivo Techniques. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 150, 207-222.

[18]   Vogel, K.P. and Jung, H.G. (2001) Genetic Modification of Herbaceous Plants for Feed and Fuel. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 20, 15-49.

[19]   Miller, F.R. and Stroup, J.A. (2004) Growth and Management of Sorghums for forage Production. Proceedings National Alfalfa Symposium, San Diego, 13-15 December, 149-158.

[20]   Moss, R. (2009) Feed Requirement and Forage Quality. Queensland Government. Primary Industries and Fisheries. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry.

[21]   Poppi, D.P. and McLennan, S.R. (1995) Protein and Energy Utilisation by Ruminants at Pasture. Journal of Animal Science, 73, 278-290.

[22]   Oliver, A.L., Grant, R.J., Pedersen, J.F. and O’Rear, J. (2004) Comparison of Brown Midrib-6 and -18 Forage Sorghum with Conventional Sorghum and Corn Silage in Diets of Lactating Dairy Cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 87, 637-644.

[23]   Hoden, A., Barrière, Y., Gallais, A., Huguet, L., Journet, M. and Mourguet, A. (1985) Le Maïs Brownmidrib Plante Entière. 3. Utilisation Sous Forme D’ensilage par les Vaches Laitières. Bulletin Technique CRZV Theix INRA, 60, 43-58.

[24]   Bal, M.A., Shaver, R.D., Jirovec, A.G., Shinners, K.J. and Coorsmm, J.G. (2000) Crop Processing and Chop Length of Corn Silage: Effects on Intake, Digestion, and Milk Production by Dairy Cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 83, 1264-1273.

[25]   Oba, M. and Allen, M.S. (2000) Effects of Brown Midrib 3 Mutation in Corn Silage on Productivity of Dairy Cows Fed Two Concentrations of Dietary Neutral Detergent Fiber: 1. Feed Behavior and Nutrient Utilization. Journal of Dairy Science, 83, 1333-1341.

[26]   Oba, M. and Allen, M.S. (1999) Effects of Brown Midrib 3 Mutation in Corn Silage on Dry Matter Intake and Productivity of High Yielding Dairy Cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 82, 135-142.

[27]   Barrière, Y. and Argillier, O. (1993) Brown-Midrib Genes of Maize: A Review. Agronomy, 13, 865-876.