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A MULTIREGIONAL APPROACH TO BALANCING MILK AND FORAGE QUALITY TRADEOFFS IN ORGANIC DAIRIES FEEDING HIGH-LEGUME DIETS

Investigators
Brito, Andre; Tsang, Pa, C..; Heins, Br, .; Smith, Ri, .; Romero, Ju, J.; Hadrich, Jo, .; Lima, Ma, .
Institutions
University of New Hampshire
Start date
2020
End date
2024
Objective
Our research and educational program will synergize the efforts of two premier land-grant organic dairy research farms (University of New Hampshire and University of Minnesota) in collaboration with the University of Maine to provide farmers with information and actionable strategies for managing mixed grass-legume stands to optimize legume proportion, persistence, and quality. At the same time, we will build a baseline dataset on quality components and phytoestrogen concentrations in forage legumes and milk that will guide future research and extension. Our educational program will include the transfer of forage legume information to farmers and other dairy professionals via field days and workshops, a novel international research and education exchange involving our team and colleagues from the Pasture Systems Lab at the University of Western Australia, and development of a forage quality and phytoestrogen prediction tool to aid dairy farmers in managing the intake of phytoestrogens.Our overarching objectives are to (Objective 1) Improve perennial legume abundance and persistence in mixed forage swards utilized for grazing and conserved feed; (Objective 2) Improve forage energy:protein balance, nutritive value, and milk quality components through interseeding practices and selected legume-grass mixtures; (Objective 3) Quantify and mitigate potential impacts of phytoestrogens from legumes on herd reproductive health by evaluating high- vs. low-phytoestrogenic species and how forage conservation methods affect the phytoestrogen contents of hay and silage; and (Objective 4) Develop and deliver educational programing to organic dairy farmers on advanced forage legume management aimed at increasing milk production and quality through webinars, workshops, and on-farm demonstrations.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
NH.W-2020-02151
Accession number
1023638
Categories
Education and Training
Commodities
Produce