1 March 1996

Amino response protein snags

DAIRY cows fed protected amino acids methionine and lysine are failing to give the expected response in milk protein in many UK herds.

This was the message of Cedars Prof David Beever at the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers conference this week. He reasons that this is because other essential amino acids could be limiting.

"No-one has identified that methionine and lysine are deficient in UK diets and in which situations," he said.

"It may be that other essential amino acids are involved in milk protein synthesis.

"Larger cocktails of essential amino acids do work to increase milk protein. There is no doubt that attention to essential amino acids will pay dividends."

He cited CEDAR trials that showed a 0.5% increase in milk protein within 12 hours after intra-vascular infusion of essential amino acids found in milk protein to mid-lactation dairy cows.

"In the long term we should be trying to enrich the total essential amino acid supply to the cow," he said.