Tackle challenges in bovine livestock farming with targeted nutrition
The use of amino acids in ruminant nutrition requires specialized expertise. Indeed, the ruminant digestive system with « several stomachs » complicates the absorption of nutrients compared to monogastric animals. Ajinomoto Animal Nutrition Europe developed an expertise in amino acids usage in order to respond to the various issues that dairy farmers face and support the sector’s sustainability
Produce quality milk through effective nutrition
Ruminants have the unique ability to transform forages indigestible for other species (grass, hay, corn silage, etc.), into protein. However, this transformation of feed into milk or meat protein for example, is not as efficient in ruminants as it is in poultry or swine.
At Ajinomoto Animal Nutrition Europe, we are constantly striving to increase farmers’ performance and income, while limiting the environmental impact, through a better use of resources.
In order to improve the conversion efficacy of the ration into milk protein, we try to get as close as possible to the ideal protein profile. By varying the protein sources included in the cow ration, (rapeseed, soy, sunflower, etc.), we obtain a sufficient and balanced supply of limiting amino acids. Using concentrated sources of essential nutrients such as protected amino acids directly absorbed in the intestine makes the process easier and more precise.
Lastly, setting up balanced intakes in amino acids and using protected lysine, like AjiPro®-L, improves the overall efficacy of nutrition, by decreasing:
- Dietary protein needed to produce a liter of milk,
- Requirements in imported protein sources that are rich in lysine like soybean meal.
Increase the sustainability of dairy farming
How to reduce the environmental impact of dairy farms?
Included in sufficient quantities and with the right profile, amino acids help optimize the protein level of the ration for a given level of production. This has positive effects.
- Decrease the need for imported feedstuffs (soybean), which limits Europe’s protein dependency and minimizes pressure on arable lands and forests.
- Broader use of local agricultural resources (rapeseed, sunflower, brewers’ grain, etc.) and feedstuff produced on farms (forages, grains, etc.).
- Reduction of nitrogen excretion, leading to a decrease in nitrate levels in water, as well as ammonia emitted into the atmosphere. The local environmental impact of dairy farming is therefore reduced and leads economically to a reduction of arable land needed to dispose the manure thanks to its lower nitrogen content.
Ruminant Business Development
An effective supplementation in indispensable amino acids acts in favor of greater sustainability for bovine livestock farming.
Optimize the quality and quantity of milk through amino acids
A considerable issue for dairy farmers is to obtain quality milk, i.e. rich in protein and fat, while producing enough quantities in order to ensure the economic sustainability of the farm. This can represent a challenge during different times of the year and with animals at different stages of lactation.
A dairy cow’s diet can influence both the quality and the quantity of milk production. If the dietary ration contains a balanced ratio of indispensable amino acids, farmers can reach the nutritional recommendations and produce an optimal quantity of milk with a better percentage of protein.
Good to know! Amino acids can have different functions and be used in different ways according to the lactation stage. In ruminants, farmers know the effect of methionine on the percentage of protein. Lysine, on the other hand, will have a marked influence on the volume of milk production with little impact on the protein and fat levels.
Manage the transition period in dairy cows
Among the advantages of using rumen protected lysine for dairy cows, the transition period is a critical example. This period corresponds to the three weeks before calving as well as the first three weeks of lactation. This period proves to be critical for dairy cows.
The cow draws from its reserves in order to meet the needs of the calf and the beginning of lactation. This leads to an energy balance detrimental to the animal’s welfare and can result in pathologies.
In order to make up for this energy deficiency, cows use proteins that they transform into glucose, a source of energy.
However, their ingestion capacity is limited and meeting their needs with traditional raw materials proves to be difficult.
Using concentrated and protected amino acids sources provides, with a low quantity of product, a quality supply at a critical period. The latest research thus shows the benefits of a balancing ration with AjiPro-L® during the transition period on:
- health indicators,
- dry matter intake before calving and at the beginning of lactation,
- calves’ ability to absorb the colostrum.
Improve the allocation of resources in dairy farming
The quality of ruminant nutrition plays a direct role on farmers’ economic results.
An effective supply of amino acids in the formulation of feed has two key advantages.
- It allows decreasing the protein intake for a given milk production and therefore improves the income over feed cost.
- It reduces the need to import protein-rich feedstuffs in order to balance the rations for dairy cows. Feed manufacturers and farmers can thus use a larger quantity of local feeds, and even raw materials produced on the farm.