Date of Award
Master of Science
Louis J. Boyd
Morrison (20) stated that providing good pasture is the cheapest way of producing milk. When cows are given access to good pasture they get more of the nutrients required for milk production than they get from barn fed hay or good silages. Good pastures are high in digestible nutrients, proteins, minerals, and vitamins which are needed by the cow.
Because of the summer droughts Tennessee dairymen should provide a supplemental source of pasture to furnish adequate grazing for their dairy cows during the mid-summer. Supplemental pasture tends to maintain milk production at a high level and in addition it permits proper management of orchardgrass and Ladino clover or tall fescue and Ladino clover pastures.
Sudangrass and pearlmillet are summer annuals that continue to grow during hot, dry, summer weather better than most forage crops. They produce their maximum growth at a time when permanent pastures are likely to be least productive. They are palatable and nutritious grasses and can be used for silage or hay as well as pasture. Due to these characteristics they fit well into the forage program on a dairy farm.
The importance of Sudangrass as a summer supplemental Teed is recognized. However, pearlmillet is relatively new in Tennessee and little information is available as to its feeding value. This study was made to compare the feeding value of Starr pearlmillet and Piper Sudangrass. if the feeding value of pearlmillet is equal to that of Sudangrass, dairymen could take advantage of the higher yields and the greater disease resistance of the pearlmillets (9, 24).
Wrather, Joseph William, "Comparison of Piper Sudangrass and Starr pearlmillet fed to lactating dairy cows. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1958.