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Cost-effective energy source proven in trials

1st September 2016

LactoBoost, a new liquid energy product, available to producers in Northern England and Scotland, has been proven to maintain dairy cow performance when a proportion of cereals are replaced, and could save dairy farmers up to 12 pence/cow/day, based on recent prices.

This is an exciting development for dairy farmers looking to keep input costs to a minimum as the housed period approaches explains Dr Michael Marsden, Trident Feeds technical manager.

“With winter just around the corner, nutrition plans for the months ahead will be a key focus for many and with cereal prices increasing and milk prices remaining unstable, producers will be keeping a tight rein on feed costs,” he says.  

“For this reason, news that our recent trial carried out at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) dairy unit at Crichton Royal, Dumfries, has proven that switching energy source to LactoBoost, from cereals, could help reduce feed overheads while maintaining performance, couldn’t have come at a better time.”

LactoBoost provides a very palatable, lactose rich (85% on a dry matter basis), free flowing liquid alternative to cereals and other sugar based liquid energy sources and can be fed as part of a TMR.

“The inclusion of LactoBoost at intervals of 3kg/head, up to 9kg/head, replaced approximately 2.5 kg of rolled cereals and at the 9kg rate, maintained milk and constituent yield.

“We witnessed significant cost savings and based on recent prices, when offered free choice in a typical mixed forage ration, fed at 7kg to the higher yielders, it demonstrated savings around 12p/cow/day, that’s £24 per day for a 200 cow herd.

“The high levels of lactose, (85% DM), help to stimulate rumen activity differently compared to starchy or sugar rich feeds,” he says.

“This improves fibre digestion which produces more precursors for butterfat production, hence the butterfat percentages seen in the trial of 4.44% in the 9kg/day LactoBoost diet compared to 4.35% in the control diet. This is consistent with other published work on similar products and adds value per litre of milk which is important for producers on constituent contracts.

“Milk urea also reduced significantly, presumably due to the extra instantly available energy being used as an energy source by rumen microbes, indicating a higher proportion, of more desirable by-processors, of true protein in milk.”

Acknowledging the success of the trial results, Richard Cross, Trident Feeds national general manager says that ensuring a sustainable and viable future for livestock farmers is at the heart of all our research projects.

“We’re very happy that the trial results have presented a real value to our end user. We understand that it’s crucial for producers to be able to trust what they’re feeding, particularly at a time when keeping input costs to a minimum without jeopardising production is key.

“I know it’s hard to take that leap of faith, but quite often, the benefits will outweigh any negative perceptions and in this instance, trials have proven that. Take advice from your nutritionist and ensure that your ration is formulated correctly to maximise the potential on offer,” he adds.

For more information, contact your local feed merchant or Michelle Tenant, Trident Feeds liquids supply manager on 01733 422 750.

Watch our video here which investigates how LactoBoost can benefit your herd based on trial results generated by the SRUC.


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