Efficient feed management helps ensure that all the nutritional needs of the animals are met. When formulating rations, nutritionists look at common parameters such as energy, starch, fiber, crude protein, minerals, and vitamins. However, these bigger pieces of a puzzle don’t take into account the increasing cost of protein sources or how protein breakdown takes place in the rumen. One of the best ways to improve the efficiency of protein utilization is through efficient management of the AA profile. The implementation of dairy amino acid balancing is straightforward and the animal’s response and benefits are immediately visible to the dairy farmer. This was confirmed by the rapid adoption curve of dairy farmers who implemented the concept of amino acid balancing in Europe and North America.
Dr. Charles Schwab, professor emeritus at the University of New Hampshire appealed to the public with his opening quote: “Crude protein is a parameter that blinds us and does not allow the dairy industry to move forward. Traditionally, dairy nutritionists have focused primarily on rumen degradable protein (RDP) and rumen undegradable protein (RUP) levels when formulating diets. The first is required by rumen microorganisms for their own protein synthesis while the second supplements the RDP on the needs of cows. However, it should always be remembered that amino acids (AA) are the building blocks of protein and that the supply from both sources must meet the AA requirements essential for optimal animal performance. Monogastric nutritionists have long understood this concept of amino acid balancing and we as dairy nutritionists shouldn’t miss this call! “
Dr Schwab reviewed the methionine (Met) and lysine (Lys) levels of different food raw materials and the research which confirms that Met and Lys are the top two AAs limiting milk production. The ideal ratio of Lys to Met should be 3: 1 to maximize milk protein production. One of the newer technologies that can help achieve this balancing strategy is that of protected amino acids in the rumen.
Linking Nutrition and Reproduction in Cattle
In addition, Dr. Milo Wiltbank, professor of reproductive physiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States, discussed the link between nutrition and reproduction in dairy cattle. Dr Wiltbank presented new research that established the link between Met supplementation and fertility. Her studies found a 13.5% reduction in miscarriages when Smartamine M was supplemented, in addition to significantly larger embryo size. During his session, Dr Wiltbank also presented information on how a subtle increase in Met in the maternal diet caused noticeable changes in the transcriptome of preimplantation embryos. These results support the idea that oocyte maturation, fertilization and preimplantation embryonic development are periods particularly sensitive to changes in maternal nutrition and that many of the most altered genes are associated with early embryo development. As part of its conclusion, Wiltbank pointed out that research confirms that high levels of crude protein in the diet will lead to high levels of urea nitrogen in the blood, which is associated with reduced fertility in dairy cows. lactation.
AA requirements can be defined in each model
Dr Angela Schröder, head of the technical service of the animal nutrition and health division at Kemin compared four AA rating systems from North West Europe for the calculation of the Met and Lys metabolizable contributions with a particular focus on systems Dutch and German who do not have or underestimate Recommendation AA. She concluded that although some systems do not have official recommendations, AA requirements can be defined using the proven tests presented in scientific papers and other models such as the INRA (Institut national de agricultural research) and the NRC (National Research Council). . Therefore, the AA formulation is applicable under a very different system, taking full advantage of feed efficiency and proper nutrition.
AA balancing showing rapid adaptation in the market
Experts have all concluded that the amino acid balancing of dairy rations is showing rapid adoption in the market. The benefits of Amino Acid Balancing are clear and include improved dairy performance, improved fertility, reduced greenhouse gases, and overall profitability. During this seminar, participants had access to daily practical examples, trial data and multiple nutritional tools that they could take home and implement in their daily operations.