This spring saw a greater acreage of arable ground put to maize, due to poor conditions reducing cereal crop viability. 2020 has produced some excellent maize yields, which in a challenging year for grass growth, will fill the shortfall in forage in many diets this winter.
As maize crops up and down the country are now being harvested or are already sitting in the clamp, QLF look at ration options to ensure livestock farmers take the maximum benefit from the increase in maize availability, for their stock.
Protein molasses – more than meets the eye!
Maize is well known for providing a slower breakdown of starch in the rumen than more heavily processed cereals, such as rolled wheat, or ground corn. When planning diets with a high maize silage concentration, it is important to try and match this slower breakdown of starch, with a similar degradation of rumen nitrogen. The closer the synchronicity, the greater the microbial activity and thus the greater the microbial protein production – microbial protein providing the optimal balance of amino acids for the cow.
QLF’s Timed Release Protein has been developed to complement maize-based diets, providing a regular and consistent supply of ammonia to the rumen over a five-hour period. A unique urea-phosphate bond is utilised to ensure the urea in QLF’s protein ranges cannot be broken down without the processes of microbial activity in the rumen, and when matched with maize silage, will help to maximise microbial protein supply.
And what of the sugar?
The molasses within QLF’s products is far more than just a carrier for Timed Release Protein. The six carbon sugars present in molasses have been shown to improve rumen health, particularly in high starch diets. A study published this October in The Journal of Dairy Science, adds further to the growing evidence that instead of dropping rumen pH as starches do, sugars will actually reduce the time the rumen spends at a pH below 5.8, thus reduce the risk of sub-acute ruminal acidosis. The results from molasses in the trial were very similar to those from a commercial buffering product, with benefits shown for rumen pH and subsequently for butter fat.
Combined with the evidence that feeding molasses also improves fibre digestibility and reduces ration sorting, leading to an increase in dry matter intake; sugars, in particular protein molasses, prove an excellent companion to maize rich diets!
To achieve the best results from QLF’s protein molasses ‘TMR’ or ‘Hipro’ ranges, aim to supply 6% of the overall dry matter intake as sugar, usually achieved with 1.5-2kg of molasses. Forage analysis of both grass and maize is essential to balance the correct protein supply to match your individual forage needs, and QLF’s wide range of protein levels is designed to support all requirements.
Please contact your local Wynnstay representative for more information.
For more technical information contact Bethany May (Wynnstay Dairy Specialist) or Bronwen Philwret (QLF regional manager) referencing your Wynnstay account number.