Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Is Improved Milk Production from Supplementation of Buffalo with Molasses Nutrient Blocks Containing 10% Urea, a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mitigation Strategy?

Version 1 : Received: 9 November 2020 / Approved: 10 November 2020 / Online: 10 November 2020 (13:18:15 CET)

How to cite: Windsor, P.; Martin, S.; Khounsy, S.; Young, J.; Thomson, P.; Bush, R. Is Improved Milk Production from Supplementation of Buffalo with Molasses Nutrient Blocks Containing 10% Urea, a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mitigation Strategy?. Preprints 2020, 2020110313 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0313.v1). Windsor, P.; Martin, S.; Khounsy, S.; Young, J.; Thomson, P.; Bush, R. Is Improved Milk Production from Supplementation of Buffalo with Molasses Nutrient Blocks Containing 10% Urea, a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mitigation Strategy?. Preprints 2020, 2020110313 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0313.v1).

Abstract

Milk production from Asiatic swamp buffalo is a new enterprise in Laos. As yields are limited, provision of high-quality Cow-Calf molasses nutrient blocks containing 10% urea (UMNB10) may improve productivity. A trial in a recently established commercial buffalo dairy examined dietary supplementation of lactating buffalo cows with UMNB10, with 3 groups of 9 cows in mid-lactation randomly selected. Two groups received ad-libitum access to UMBs with the remaining group free of block supplements. All animals were daily fed fresh Napier grass (30kg), corn (750gm), rice bran (1.45kg), plus accessed fresh Mulatto grass. Daily milk production (DMP) and body condition score (BCS) were recorded for the 2 months of access to UMB. Average DMP for the 2 supplemented groups were 1.02 litres and 0.96 litres, compared to 0.78 litres for the control group, suggesting improved milk productivity of 31% and 24% from accessing UMB. Partial budget analysis identified a strong incentive for use of the molasses blocks, with a net profit of USD408 and USD295 over a 30-day period for the supplemented groups. Molasses nutrient blocks may be a simple motivator for smallholder farmers in developing countries to increase the efficiency of large ruminant production, improving rural livelihoods, food security and potentially, reducing GHG emissions.

Subject Areas

Asiatic swamp buffalo (Bubalus bubalis); large ruminant production; Laos; dairy; molasses nutrient blocks; supplementation

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