Bulk tank milk urea nitrogen



Title Bulk tank milk urea nitrogen: seasonal patterns and relationship to individual cow milk urea nitrogen values
Author(s) P. Arunvipas, John A. VanLeeuwen, Ian R. Dohoo, Gregory P. Keefe
Journal Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research. Revue Canadienne de Recherche Veterinaire
Date 2004
Volume 68
Issue 3
Start page 169
End page 174
Abstract The objectives of this study were: 1) to determine if bulk tank milk urea nitrogen (BTMUN) and whole herd weighted average of the individual cow MUN levels (WHMUN) were equivalent measurements of herd MUN status; and 2) to determine the seasonal variation in BTMUN concentrations in Prince Edward Island (PEI) dairy herds. For BTMUN-WHMUN correlation testing, bulk tank milk samples from 176 herds were tested for MUN once every 1 to 2 wk between September 1999 and August 2002, as part of routine BTM testing for milk components. During this 3-year period, all herds had all milking cows tested for MUN once a month at the same lab. The WHMUN levels (weighted for milk production) were calculated for each month, and were compared to BTMUN levels using a concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) and a graphic procedure. Tests were only compared if they occurred on the same date, producing a final dataset of 669 comparisons. The BTMUN had good (but not perfect) correlation with WHMUN (CCC = 0.91). This high reliability extended to both the pasture and non-pasture seasons, various milk sampling protocols, and all herd sizes seen in PEI. For evaluating the seasonal variation of BTMUN, the 3 y worth of data (24 803 observations) were divided into 15 seasonal categories, 5 seasons per year (early, mid, and late pasture, and early and late stable). Using linear mixed modelling, significantly (P < 0.05) higher BTMUN values were found during the mid and late pasture seasons of 2000, likely because the precipitation was unusually high during this period, enhancing pasture growth.

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