Efecto de la relación potasio/sodio en la pradera sobre el comportamiento ingestivo de vacas lecheras

Herrera, F., Balocchi, O., Riegel, R., Keim, J.P.


Original Research Article,
Special Issue: Pastures for
Sustainable Productions Systems


The aim of this study was to determine the effect of changing the potassium/sodium ratio in a Lolium perenne L. sward on ingestive behaviour of lactating dairy cows. The experiment considered 5 K/Na ratios that were organised in 10×20 m plots arranged in three randomized complete blocks. To generate the different K/Na ratios, 0 kg K2O-0 kg Na (control), 50 kg Na ha-1, 100 kg Na ha-1, 400 kg K2O ha-1 and 800 kg K2O ha-1 were applied to the different treatments. Plots were grazed by lactating dairy cows, which were offered an herbage mass of 6 kg DM cow-1 (above 5 cm ground level) during a 6 h grazing event. Nutritional composition, K and Na concentration in the pasture, pasture height and herbage mass, as well as pasture removal and grazing behaviour were assesed.
Evaluations were conducted at three different seasons (May, September and October). Data were subjected to anova using the proc MIXED of SAS, with the different K/Na ratios as a fixed effect and grazing season as a repeated measure. Fertiliser levels modified K and Na concentrations in the pasture, generating K/Na ratios that ranged between 3 and 48 for 100 kg Na ha-1 y 800 kg K2O ha-respectively (P<0,05). Nevertheless, the K/Na ratio in the pasture had no effect on ingestive behaviour, herbage mass and chemical composition of the pasture. It is concluded that under the conditions of this experiment, K/Na ratio in the pasture has no effect on grazing behaviour of lactanting dairy cows.