Energy boost for high yielders improves feed efficiency

Cargill Animal Nutrition has introduced the energy boosting feed product Turbopro® to its range this autumn (2019). A blend of rumen protected B-vitamins and palatability enhancers, it has been shown to improve milk production by 1.8kg per day in early lactation and by 1.2kg per day in mid lactation.

Turbopro is added to minerals or in feed and recommended for high yielding cows producing more than 29 litres of milk per day in early or mid lactation.  Its main function is to support glucose production in the liver.

“Propionate is a fatty acid produced in the rumen that, in the liver, is synthesised into glucose,” says Cargill ruminant technical manager Philip Ingram. “We know that 85% of gluconeogenesis occurs in the liver, and that glucose is the main energy source used in milk production. So, if the efficiency of this process is improved there will be more energy made available for milk production.”

A key component of Turbopro is the rumen-protected B-vitamins. This additional supply of B-vitamins is available in the intestine of the cow for key functions such as milk production, health, fertility and maintenance.

“Unprotected B vitamins can be digested in the rumen, for example only about 2% of standard vitamin B passes through the rumen, as opposed to 60% of the supplemented rumen-protected vitamin B,” adds Dr Ingram. “High yielding cows can benefit from additional amounts of this vitamin.”

Cargill trials on more than 1,000 dairy cows have shown improvements in milk production where Turboprop has been added to diets of milking cows from early lactation. Results have also shown that an improvement of 1.2kg per day of milk in mid lactation did not significantly affect fat or protein production.

Turbopro can be fed to all lactating cows and it is a ideal follow on to Cargill’s LiFT™ that is fed to cows three weeks pre calving to prime the liver for better energy management and help to reduce ketone production – that affects intakes – and improve how the liver processes fat from body reserves.

“Nutritionists and dairy producers are encouraged to look beyond the rumen when it comes to improving feed efficiency in our milking herd,” says Dr Ingram. “Improving how efficiently the diet is used by the cow, rather than adding more high value feed inputs, will increase feed conversion in the cow.”

Turbopro has been shown to provide a return on investment of 5:1 based on a milk price of 25ppl, or 6:1 based on a milk price of 30ppl.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.