The challenge in the modern nutrition of the dairy cow is to reconcile a balanced diet that meets the physiological needs of cows in the various stages of their productive life and throughout the seasons of the year, to always have healthy and productive animals.
Maximizing ingestion has always been the main goal of every breeder, especially during the summer period. It is now clear that the biggest limiting factor in ingestion is the clutter of fodder, a fundamental and essential food for cows.
A good solution is the one proposed by Ed&F Man Liquid Products Italia Ltd: Sugar Plus branded liquid feeds are characterized by a high appeal, their composition involves the use of several raw materials with high sugar content and with a high dry insotable content.
These features make Sugar Plus products a great solution to maximize food intake, overcoming the clutter effect and increasing productions a corn silage.
Suffice it to say that the average dry substance content of Sugar Plus products is around 70%, more than double a silage of corn.
With 1.5 kg of liquid feed, 1 kg of liquid dry matter is made, palatable and without clutter.
This physical effect helps to maximize ingestion throughout the year and especially in the summer, when keeping high intake of dry matter is always a challenge.
All this deduces how important food intake is in order to de-sustain high production.
Although fodder (fiber) is the most importantfactor of clutter, they are essential for a ruminant. Naturally, cows only take fodder, maintain a ruminal pH at optimal levels (>6) ensuring a high level of well-being.
Safeguarding well-being is the second crucial goal of any breeder to achieve high performance.
Assessing food efficiency
One value that provides an important indication of food efficiency is the Food Conversion Index (Ica). This value indicates how many kilos of milk a cow produces for each kilo of substance
dry ingested. Ica – kilos of milk products – pounds dried ingested.
For a herd, managed with a single group of 150 to 225 days of lactation, the food conversion index generally varies between 1.4 and 1.6 depending on the digestive performance of the cows.
The concetrates and specifically starch (corn, barley, wheat), are the first energy source of a diet. They are essential to cope with the large milk production typical of modern genetics.
However, there is a limit to the use of starch in ration beyond which ruminal conditions are adversely affected.
In particular, the pH undergoes sudden changes that alter the balance of the ruminal microflora and consequently the health status of the animal.
Ruminal pH is the crucial point on which to focus on having high stocks in milk, despite high production or environmental stressors.
Sugar Plus products are liquid energy feeds, which have a different impact than starch inside the rumin.
They maintain the most constant ruminal pH and allow the energy share of the ration to be increased without exceeding the level of starch and safeguarding ruminal well-being.
The results of a diet based on Sugar Plus products.
The research allowed Sugar Plus to offer a wide range of high-quality, consistent, stable and safe products to meet the needs of each farm.
From 15 companies using Sugar Plus liquid feed in northern Italy, herd production data was collected before and after the feed was inserted.
Out of a total of more than 2,000 lactation cows, with an average use of 1.3 kg/d of lquid feed, the average visible results in Table 1 were recorded.
These results highlight the positive effect of the addition of Sugar Plus liquid feed on ruminal well-being, which translates into higher production performance.