Failing to support summer grazing butterfats could lose up to 1ppl

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Avoid summer butterfat drop and potential milk income losses by taking steps to formulate balanced rations, avoid SARA and minimise the impact of heat stress.

Low rumen pH – sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA) – and insufficient fibre digestion are key factors responsible for butterfat reductions during summer.

Adjust rations to help stabilise rumen pH and promote efficient fibre digestion, making use of a live yeast and slow-release rumen conditioner if necessary.

Take care when using fat supplements to boost energy supply. The 100% rumen-protected fat products are the safest option to avoid releasing additional fats or oils into the rumen that could affect fibre digestion.

Key facts & figures:

  • Butterfat drop of between 0.1% and 0.3% risks loss of up to 1.0ppl

  • Causes are low fibre and excess free oil in the diet, plus heat stress

  • Heat stress can occur in the UK when temperatures are above 22°C

  • Vistacell live yeast and Acid Buf conditioner can help stabilise rumen pH

  • Soya hulls a great option that combines high digestible fibre with low oil

  • Use Butterfat Extra to boost key fatty acids not synthesised by the cow

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