2 June 1995

Right ration for profit

DAIRY rations that supply the correct balance of amino acids could lift margins by over £50 a cow, claims Rhone-Poulenc nutritionist Dr Brian Sloan.

"Cows need at least 7% lysine and 2.2% methionine in the protein portion of the diet for efficient milk production," says Dr Sloan. In the UK lysine deficiency is rare due to the range of raw materials used but methionine deficiency is common and difficult to correct using normal raw ingredients, he adds.

He claims such deficiencies can now be identified using its free service "Rumidaaas" (ruminant digestible amino acid accounting service) available through UK compounders this autumn. Smartamine M, a protected source of methionine from the firm, is recommended for methionine-deficient rations at 12g a cow a day.

An increase of 0.15% in protein within one month of correcting a methionine deficiency to cows in early lactation is cited for European-wide trials.

These have also shown that milk proteins rose by an extra 0.05% when supplementation continued throughout lactation.