UK dairy trial shows energy-booster promotes lasting yield increases

Improvements in early and mid-lactation milk production can be achieved by boosting cows’ energy supply and improving liver function efficiency with the feed supplement Turbopro.

This has been borne out in the latest field trial by Cargill UK, carried out in a high yielding housed 450-cow Holstein herd based in north west England. The results demonstrated the improvements in performance and feed efficiency, and the positive impact on margin over feed costs, when this supplement was included in the ration. 

Two equal groups of 30 cows in early to mid-lactation from this all-year-round calving herd were compared in the trial across 10 weeks. During the dry period all cows were managed under the same regime, in comfortable conditions and fed the same dry-cow diet with the liver priming feed product LiFT included in the close-up ration. 

The milking diet was based on a TMR to provide maintenance plus 28 litres, and compound feed in the parlour, with both groups fed the same amount. One group received 100g of Turbopro per cow per day in the TMR. 

This group recorded an increase in yield of 1.12kg per cow per day and an improvement of 0.14kg (6%) in fat plus protein, compared with the control group across the 10 weeks.

Based on the milk price at the time of the trial and accounting for the supplement cost, Turbopro in the diet added 49p per cow per day to the income over feed cost, worth £149.45 per cow during a 305-day lactation.

The herd average yield is 9,500litres of milk, at 3.8% fat and 3.2% protein, on twice-a-day milking. 

Dr Philip Ingram Cargill ruminant technical manager

Dr Philip Ingram Cargill ruminant technical manager

These latest results support earlier Cargill trials on more than 1,000 dairy cows. Improvements in milk production of up to 1.8kg per day in early lactation, and by 1.2kg per day in mid-lactation, were recorded where Turbopro was added to diets of cows from early lactation.

It 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.

Turbopro is designed to provide an energy boost for high yielders and maintain optimum liver function throughout lactation. It is a blend of rumen protected B-vitamins and palatability enhancers and it complements LiFT, the liver function feed product fed in the transition period.

“Its main function is to support glucose production in the liver from the rumen-produced fatty acid propionate,” says Cargill’s ruminant specialist Philip Ingram. “This is particularly valuable where wet, high lactic acid silages are being fed. 

“Lactic acid from silage is converted to propionate in the rumen and this, in turn, is converted to glucose in the liver. More acidic, wetter silages provide a lot of propionate to the liver. 

“Bolstering the high production cow’s ability to deal with this in the liver and to manufacture glucose really pays off,” adds Dr Ingram. “It means more energy is available for milk production. Turbopro has a track record of promoting this process.”

Rumen-protected B-vitamins in this product provide additional benefits by supporting key functions such as milk production, health, fertility, and maintenance.

Turbopro can be added to minerals or in feed and is recommended for cows producing more than 29 litres of milk daily in early or mid-lactation.


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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.