The effect of using conventional urea (CU) or slow release urea (SRU) was evaluated by replacing soybean meal (SBM) in concentrated supplements in levels of 2, 4 or 6% (dry matter basis) on productive performance of crossbred Holstein x Zebu lactating dairy cows (499±61kg body weight and 167 days of lactation) grazing on elephant grass (11.5% CP and 60% NDF) under rotational grazing during the rainy season. A supplement control (no urea) was used containing SBM as a protein source. A total of 21 cows were distributed an incomplete randomized block design with three periods of 21 days each (14 days of adaptation and seven days of collection). The animals entered the paddocks with a pasture height of 110-120cm and left when the grass reached the height of 40-50cm. The concentrated isonitrogenous supplements (24% crude protein, dry matter basis) were provided in the amount of 3.2kg/cow/day (fed basis). There was no effect (P>0.05) on source of crude protein (SBM vs source NPN), source NPN, level of NPN, interaction between source NPN and level of NPN on milk production (10.0kg/day), fat milk production corrected to 3.5% (10.7kg/day), levels of fat (4.01%), protein (3.66%), lactose (4.16%), total solids (12.86%) and non-fat solids (8.60%) in milk. The replacement of CU by SRU does not promote improvement in the productive performance of crossbred dairy cows grazing on elephant grass during the rainy season. Urea (CU or SRU) can be included in up to 6% of the DM concentrated supplements, replacing SBM, without affecting the productive performance of crossbred cows (Holstein x Zebu) in pasture during the rainy season.
non-protein nitrogen; milk