Publications by authors named "E J DePeters"

84 Publications

Feeding high amounts of almond hulls to lactating cows.

J Dairy Sci 2021 Aug 10;104(8):8846-8856. Epub 2021 May 10.

Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis 95616. Electronic address:

California is the leading state for the production of almonds, with more than 400,000 bearing hectares of orchards that produced approximately 1 billion kilograms of shelled nuts in 2017. Almond hulls (AH) are a regional by-product feedstuff fed predominantly to dairy cattle in California. A 2012 study surveyed 40 dairy farms in California and found that 39 out of 104 total mixed rations contained AH, with a mean daily feeding rate of 1.45 kg/cow. In 2017, approximately 2 billion kilograms of AH was produced. At a feeding rate of 1.45 kg/cow daily, even if all 1.7 million lactating cows in California are consuming AH, there will be a surplus of AH on the market as the approximately 130,000 nonbearing hectares come into nut production. Therefore, the potential of feeding varying amounts of AH to lactating dairy cows was investigated using 12 Holstein cows with 4 primiparous and 8 multiparous cows. The dietary treatments were 4 total mixed rations containing 0, 7, 13, or 20% AH. The AH used contained 12.8% crude fiber (as-is basis), which was below the 15% legal limit set by state feed regulations. Diets were formulated so that as the inclusion rate of AH increased, the amount of steam-flaked corn and soyhull pellets decreased and soybean meal inclusion increased. Experimental design was a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square. Diet had a cubic effect on actual milk yield, energy-corrected milk yield, and dry matter intake, with the 7% AH diet having the highest values and the 13% AH diet having the lowest. The percent and yield of total solids and the yields of lactose and fat did not differ with diet, but percent and yield of protein declined linearly with increased AH inclusion, and fat percent increased linearly. Apparent total-tract digestibilities of dry matter and organic matter were higher with the inclusion of AH in the diet. Total percentage of the day spent ruminating increased linearly with higher amounts of AH. Overall, this work demonstrated that AH can be fed at varying amounts, up to 20% of the diet, to lactating dairy cows to support high levels of milk production and that increasing amounts of AH (up to 20%) in the diet could lead to improved digestibility and milk fat percentage but decreased milk protein production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2020-19109DOI Listing
August 2021

Psyllium supplementation is associated with changes in the fecal microbiota of horses.

BMC Res Notes 2020 Sep 29;13(1):459. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Department of Animal Science, University of California Davis, 2251 Meyer Hall, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA, 95616, USA.

Objective: Prophylactic supplementation of psyllium husk is recommended to enhance passage of ingested sand from the gastrointestinal tracts of horses. We hypothesized that psyllium supplementation would increase fecal sand passage and favorably alter bacterial populations in the hindgut. Six yearlings and six mature mares were fed a psyllium supplement in the diet daily for seven days. Voluntarily-voided feces were collected over the course of 29 days, prior, during, and after treatment. Feces were analyzed for acid detergent fiber (ADF) and acid detergent insoluble ash analyses. Microbial DNA was also isolated, and the V4 region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene was PCR-amplified and sequenced using MiSeq technology.

Results: Fecal ADF concentration was greater in adults while silica concentration was greater in yearlings. Mature mare fecal ADF decreased during and just after supplementation but thereafter increased. No changes in silica levels were noted in either group over time. Fecal microbial population phylogenetic diversity was greatest mid-supplementation and lowest at 11 days post-supplementation. Functional profiles of the microbial communities presented some benefits for psyllium supplementation. These findings provide compelling evidence for further detailed studies of prophylactic psyllium supplementation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13104-020-05305-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7526151PMC
September 2020

A goal programming approach for balancing diet costs and feed water use under different environmental conditions.

J Dairy Sci 2019 Dec 3;102(12):11504-11522. Epub 2019 Oct 3.

Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis 95616. Electronic address:

Water is essential in livestock production systems. In typical dairy production systems, 90% of the total water used by a dairy farm is attributed to feed production. Theoretically, ration manipulation is a method to potentially reduce the irrigation water needed for feed crops without dramatically increasing diet costs. However, published quantitative studies on the relationship between feed production and water use that are integrated with linear programming models are scarce. The overall objective of this study was to develop an optimization framework that could achieve a balance between minimization of dietary costs and dietary irrigation water usage, and that could be used as a framework for future research and models for various livestock production systems. Weighted goal programming models were developed to minimize the dietary costs and irrigation water usage for a hypothetical cow under 8 different environmental scenarios. The environmental conditions used a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design, including 2 atmospheric CO concentrations (400 and 550 ppm), 2 water years (dry and wet), and 2 irrigation methods (furrow and drip). A systematic weighting scheme was used to model the trade-off between minimizing diet cost and minimizing irrigation water use for feedstuffs. Each environmental condition generated a set of distinct diets, which each met the same nutrient requirements of the hypothetical cow but had a different water usage when the weighting scheme was changed from weighting minimum diet costs to minimum irrigation water usage. For water resource planning in areas of dairy production, this set of unique solutions provides the decision maker with different feeding options according to diet cost, water usage, and available feeds. As water was more constrained, dietary dry matter intake increased, concentrations of neutral detergent fiber, ether extract, and energy decreased, and the concentration of lignin increased because less nutritive but more water-saving feedstuffs were included in the diet. Mitigation costs of water usage were calculated from goal programming results and indicated that the potential value of water under water-limited conditions (e.g., in a drought region) was higher than that under water-sufficient conditions. However, a smaller increase in feed costs can initially significantly reduce water usage compared with that of a least-cost diet, which implies that the reduction of water usage through ration manipulation might be possible. This model serves as a framework for the study of irrigation water usage in dairy production and other livestock production systems and for decision-making processes involved in water resources planning in the broader area of animal production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2019-16543DOI Listing
December 2019

The fecal resistome of dairy cattle is associated with diet during nursing.

Nat Commun 2019 09 27;10(1):4406. Epub 2019 Sep 27.

Department of Food Science and Technology, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA, 95616, USA.

Antimicrobial resistance is a global public health concern, and livestock play a significant role in selecting for resistance and maintaining such reservoirs. Here we study the succession of dairy cattle resistome during early life using metagenomic sequencing, as well as the relationship between resistome, gut microbiota, and diet. In our dataset, the gut of dairy calves serves as a reservoir of 329 antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) presumably conferring resistance to 17 classes of antibiotics, and the abundance of ARGs declines gradually during nursing. ARGs appear to co-occur with antibacterial biocide or metal resistance genes. Colostrum is a potential source of ARGs observed in calves at day 2. The dynamic changes in the resistome are likely a result of gut microbiota assembly, which is closely associated with diet transition in dairy calves. Modifications in the resistome may be possible via early-life dietary interventions to reduce overall antimicrobial resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12111-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6765000PMC
September 2019

Carbon and blue water footprints of California sheep production.

J Anim Sci 2019 Feb;97(2):945-961

Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis.

While the environmental impacts of livestock production, such as greenhouse gas emissions and water usage, have been studied for a variety of US livestock production systems, the environmental impact of US sheep production is still unknown. A cradle-to-farm gate life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted according to international standards (ISO 14040/44), analyzing the impacts of CS representing five different meat sheep production systems in California, and focusing on carbon footprint (carbon dioxide equivalents, CO2e) and irrigated water usage (metric ton, MT). This study is the first to look specifically at the carbon footprint of the California sheep industry and consider both wool and meat production across the diverse sheep production systems within California. This study also explicitly examined the carbon footprint of hair sheep as compared with wooled sheep production. Data were derived from producer interviews and literature values, and California-specific emission factors were used wherever possible. Flock outputs studied included market lamb meat, breeding stock, 2-d-old lambs, cull adult meat, and wool. Four different methane prediction models were examined, including the current IPCC tier 1 and 2 equations, and an additional sensitivity analysis was conducted to examine the effect of a fixed vs. flexible coefficient of gain (kg) in mature ewes on carbon footprint per ewe. Mass, economic, and protein mass allocation were used to examine the impact of allocation method on carbon footprint and water usage, while sensitivity analyses were used to examine the impact of ewe replacement rate (% of ewe flock per year) and lamb crop (lambs born per ewe bred) on carbon footprint per kilogram market lamb. The carbon footprint of market lamb production ranged from 13.9 to 30.6 kg CO2e/kg market lamb production on a mass basis, 10.4 to 18.1 kg CO2e/kg market lamb on an economic basis, and 6.6 to 10.1 kg CO2e/kg market lamb on a protein mass basis. Enteric methane (CH4) production was the largest single source of emissions for all CS, averaging 72% of total emissions. Emissions from feed production averaged 22% in total, primarily from manure emissions credited to feed. Whole-ranch water usage ranged from 2.1 to 44.8 MT/kg market lamb, almost entirely from feed production. Overall results were in agreement with those from meat-focused sheep systems in the United Kingdom as well as beef raised under similar conditions in California.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/sky442DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6358244PMC
February 2019
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