Over the last 30 years tremendous efforts and research have been made to refine the protein requirements of dairy cows. Consequently, the growing understanding of cow requirements led to recognising 2 sets of protein requirements; rumen degradable protein (RDP), and rumen undegradable protein (RUP), and metabolically the cow has specific requirements for individual amino acids (AAs) rather than metabolisable protein (MP) per se.
Amino acids are the building blocks of milk and body proteins, and considered one of the most important nutrients in dairy cow nutrition. Many of these amino acids needs to be supplemented in the diet, because they can’t be synthesised in sufficient amount to meet the requirements of high producing cows. Therefore, these amino acids are known as essential AAs.
Inadequate supply of these essential AAs can limit milk and milk protein yield; thus, they are referred to as limiting AAs. Methionine (Met) and lysine (Lys) have been recognised as the first and second limiting AAs, respectively, for lactating dairy cows under most feeding practices. This is fundamentally true because feed proteins have lower concentrations of Met and Lys when compared to their concentrations in milk and microbial protein.
Intestinally available AAs are derived from 3 sources:
Collectively, these protein sources are called metabolisable protein. Therefore, dairy rations should be formulated to provide MP with an AAs profile that is consistent with the AA requirements for maintenance, growth, lactation, and reproduction.
Balancing dairy rations for AA, rather than for percentage of crude protein (CP %), is the state of the art approach when it comes to protein nutrition. Balancing dairy rations for AA allows for more precise feeding so that cows can achieve maximum production performance without overfeeding protein. The benefits of balancing for AA are endless if dairy nutritionist and producers are willing to adopt the concept and apply it whenever possible. The improvement in milk production, reproduction as well as animal health will outweigh any additional cost.
The benefits of balancing for AA’s include:
When balancing dairy rations for AA, nutritionists are encouraged to consider the following recommendations for maximising milk components and MP utilisation:
As you see, balancing diets for amino acids is not that simple. Therefore, along with the choice of the most high-quality product, the choice of an experienced advisor is also important. This person/company should be able to provide constant support and act according to constantly changing market situations. The Kemin Amino Acid Program is supported by data-driven research using sophisticated models that are validated in a 3-step process:
Table 1 shows meta-analysis data for successful Kemin Amino Acid Program implementation (diet balanced in Met and Lys thanks to rumen protected methionine1/lysine2 supplements and technical knowledge) vs. control group (no amino acid balanced diet). Table 2 shows meta-analysis data for Kemin Lysine supplements implementation2 vs. control group (no amino acid balanced diet or only balanced for Met without any rumen protected source of Lys).
The Kemin Lifelong Learning Program ensures that customers get the best optimal solutions for every market situation. The competent support by the Kemin experts guarantees the highest return on investment.
References are available on request
1 Smartamine and MetaSmart are Adisseo´s trademarks
2 Lysigem and Lysipearl