Effect of environment factors on milk production and lactation length under different seasons in crossbred cattle
The study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of different macro climatic variables on lactation milk yield and lactation length of Holdeo (Holstein Friesian x Deoni) crossbred cattle. Milk data of 145 Holdeo crossbred cows with 619 lactation records and the meteorological data over a period of 15 years (1995-2009) were obtained from Cattle Cross Breeding Project, Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth, Parbhani and University Meteorological Observatory, respectively. It was observed that maximum temperature has significant correlation with lactation milk yield; whereas maximum temperature, minimum temperature, sunshine hours and wind speed have significant correlation with lactation length. Regression analysis indicated that all the climatic variables except minimum temperature exhibited significant regression results with lactation milk yield, and maximum temperature, minimum temperature and maximum humidity have significant regression results with lactation length. All the climatic variables considered in the study accounted for 75 % and 65 % direct variation on lactation milk yield and lactation length, respectively, as verified by the value of coefficient of determination (R2). It was observed that lactation milk yield (1136.56 + 21.04 kg.) and lactation length (295.29 + 5.51 days) were highest among the cows calved during winter season as compared to rainy and summer season. All the climatic variables considered in the study accounted for 57% , 56 % and 48 % direct variation on milk yield and 68% , 53 % and 46 % direct variation on lactation length in rainy, winter and summer season, respectively, as verified by the value of coefficient of determination (R2). This research indicated that crossbred cows were sensitive to seasonal changes on their lactation performance. The optimum ranges of temperature; humidity and THI for better performance of crossbred in subtropical region of India were found to be 19-26 oC, 52-66 % and 65-68 %, respectively.