New alfalfa variety could be big boost to dairy industry
Thanks to the world-class plant breeders at Cornell University, a highly-digestible alfalfa strain will allow dairy cows to produce up to 3.3 pounds of milk a day. This could mean an extra $20,000 a year for a dairy farmer with a herd of 113 cows, the average in New York, not to mention more delicious cheese for us!
The secret to N-R-Gee is a lower percentage of indigestible fiber -- which fills a cow's belly but passes through as waste -- and a higher percentage of carbohydrates and pectin, which cows can convert to milk. With less fiber taking up space in all those stomachs, cows can eat more of the high-quality alfalfa and produce more milk.
"More intake and more digestibility: those two things combined, we think, are going to make a pretty significant impact for the dairy industry," Hansen said.