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The objective of this study was to measure cow response to feeding of two dietary concentrations of P, one of which was close to recent National Research Council requirements, and the other of which was well in excess of the requirement. Diets containing 0.37 or 0.57% P (dry basis) were fed to Holstein cows for the first 165 d of lactation, and occasionally longer until cows were confirmed pregnant approximately 60 d after insemination. At calving, cows were randomly assigned to experimental diets. The number of cows completing a minimum of 165 d of lactation was 123 for the 0.37 and 124 for the 0.57% P groups. Cows were housed in a stanchion barn and fed one of two transition diets, each formulated to contain one of the P treatments for the first 3 wk of lactation, and then cows were moved to a free-stall barn where the experimental diets were group fed. Milk production, milk fat, and milk protein averaged 35.1 kg/d, 3.92%, and 2.90% for the 0.37% P diet, and 34.9 kg/d, 3.98%, and 2.91% for the 0.57% P diet. None of these measures were different between treatments. Blood serum P concentrations on d 50 and 100 of lactation averaged 6.1 and 6.2 mg/dL for the 0.37% P diet, and 6.8 and 6.9 mg/dL for the 0.57% P diet. No treatment differences were detected in milk production, cow health, or body condition score. © American Dairy Science Association, 2004.

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Journal of Dairy Science

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