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									GRAZING CROPS for VITAMIN A in MilK and BUTTER                9


than doubled.     It continued to increase until it was higher
than the value   of summer milk produced by the control herd
on permanent     pasture and five times the value of the winter
milk produced     by the control herd.
   It was apparent from these results that the only feasible
way to maintain the vitamin A content of milk at high levels
during the winter period was by the use of winter grazing
crops. The experiment was extended to find what effects
such crops have over a longer period. The crops used were
oats and crimson clover or crimson clover and rye grass com-
bined. Averages of the results by months over an 8-year
period are shown in Figure 3. :Milk produced on winter
grazing crops was consistently 2 to 4 times as rich in vitamin
A during the winter months as milk produced by the control
herd.


Production of Vitamin A-Rich Winter Milk
Practical for Small Farm Herds
   The results thus far described were obtained from experi-
mental groups of cows on the Agricultural        Experiment
Station at Auburn.     The study was also extended to two
small dairy farms near Auburn on which Experiment Station
recommendations concerning the use of temporary grazing
crops were reasonably well followed. ~omposite samples of
the milk produced by each herd were analyzed monthly for
vitamin A content.     In Figure 4 is shown the vitamin A
content of the milk produced by Herd 1, which grazed oats
during the winter months, as compared with the vitamin A
content of the milk from the control herd on permanent
pasture. The high vitamin A content of the milk produced
by Herd 1 during the winter months J'hows that the experi-
mental results can be applied under practical conditions on
Alabama farms.
   The vitamin A content of the milk produced by Herd 2 in
comparison with that produced by the control herd is shown
in Figure 5. Herd 2 grazed oats and crimson clover from
late October through April, permanent pasture of Bermuda
grass and lespedeza from May through August, and kudzu
during September and October. Again the vitamin A content
............




                10                                             ALABAMA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENTSTATION
                                                                                                                           r
                Units of vitamin A
                per quart of milk.
                1600

                             ~ Control herd permanent JlU-
                             ~ture,  no winter grazing crops
                             IIIwith winter grazingpasture
                                Herd I permanent
                                                     crops
                11100




                1200




                1000




                 800




                 600




                 1100
                                                                                                             s.




                 200




                                           ".',
                                                   ...
               MONTH           J      F       M      A     M       oJ    oJ     A     .      0      N         D
                        4.
                  FIGURE Milk produced            on a small farm near Auburn,    on which Alabama     Experiment
               Station   recommendations   were    followed in 1945, was three times as rich in vitamin A in the
               winter as milk from the control herd' on permanent pasture without  winter          grazing        crops.
               The summer pasture on this farm was not as good as the winter pasture.
 GRAZING CROPSfor VITAMIN A in MilK and BUTTER                                               11


  Units of vitamin A
  per Quart of mil k,


                II     Herd 2--
               permanent pas-
   IIj()()     ture with win-
               ter    graz In9
               crops'

               D   Control herd-
             permanent pasture,
  1200       no winter grazing
             crops




  1000




  BOO




  600                                               '.','




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              ))



                                                                                    I
 200                   ',','




                I
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             :::::'
             ~     j           ..                                                   iii!
t-bnth             J       F        M   A   M   J       J'   A   s     0        N      D
   FIGURE5, Cows on another small farm near Auburn, on which Alabama, Experime'nt
Station recommendations for winter pastures were followed in 1945 and 1946, produced
milk much richer in vitamin A than that produced by the control herd on permanent pasture
without winter grazing crops, Summer pasture on this farm was not very good,
                                                                          "
12                          ALABAMA   AGRICULTURAL   EXPERIMENT STATION



of the milk was much higher during the winter than that of
the control herd.
   It was found on these farms that the use of temporary                      II
grazing crops not only increased the vitamin A content of
the milk, but cut cost of production by reducing feed cost
and increasing the milk flow. An increase in the acreage
of winter grazing crops and some improvement in the time-
liness of seeding on these farms should have given even
greater responses.


Many Dairy Farms Need Pasture Improvement
   That the practice of producing vitamin A-rich milk
throughout the year by use of temporary grazing crops was
as practical for large herds as it was for smaller ones was
demonstated by results obtained from a commercial dairy
herd owned by a creamery in Lee County. This herd was
maintained on an improved permanent pasture of Dallis
grass, lespedeza, and white Dutch clover, supplemented with
temporary grazing crops in accordance with Alabama Ex-
periment Station recommendations.      The milk produced by
this herd was rich in vitamin A, as shown in Figure 6. This
milk was taken to the creamery and mixed with a large
volume of milk from other local dairy herds. The striking
difference between the vitamin A content of the milk pro-
duced on the creamery farm and that of the final creamery
product after mixing with other locally produced milk is also
shown in Figure 6. The fact that diluting the creamery
farm milk with other milk produced in the same area lowered
the vitamin A content to such an extent shows that many
of the dairy farms in this area need a pasture improvement
program.


Vitamin A Content of Butter Also Affected by
Pasture Improvement
   Early in 1943 the Office of Experiment Stations, United
States Department     of Agriculture,  began a nationwide
survey to determine the vitamin A content of market butter.
The Alabama Station participated in this survey. Because

								
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