Acidosis at turnout a major threat to rumen function and profitability

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Length: 100 words; 1 minutes

Dairy cow grazing image

Failing to correctly balance the nutrients in spring grass with effective buffer feeding will reduce feed efficiency, milk from forage and income over feed costs (IOFC).

With margins under pressure, extracting maximum value from low-cost grazing is vital, as is maintaining milk value. So use complementary feeds to support good fibre digestion, increase milk from forage and maintain butterfats.

Switch to slower release starch feeds like Soda Wheat and ground maize to reduce the risk of sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA). Prevent sorting and boost intakes with moist feeds (Traffordgold, Wessex Gold or draff) and low sugar liquid feeds (Molale).

Key facts & figures:

  • SARA1 at turnout can cut feed intakes by 5% and yields by 2.5 litres/cow

  • Fibre digestion compromised when rumen below pH5.8 for 2-3 hours or more

  • Base buffer feeds on 8-15kg FW/cow good silage, plus up to 1kg FW/cow straw

  • Sugar beet feed or Traffordgold will cut SARA1 risk and lift butterfats

  • Further boost milk fat synthesis with Butterfat Extra if needed

  • Balance RDP2 in spring grass with soyabean meal, SoyPass or NovaPro

1 Sub-acute ruminal acidosis
2 Rumen degradable protein

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