Acids could prevent diet spoilage

Treating buffer feeds with organic acids during hot weather could prevent mixed diets from heating up and lowering intakes.

Warm weather can accelerate microbial activity causing spoilage – the consequence of which is suppressed feed intakes, according to feed additives manager with Frank Wright Trouw Nutrition, Tim Carter.

Mr Carter explained that the activity of yeasts and mould led to changes in both taste and smell of the diet.

“New research shows if the ambient temperature is below 20C feed quality only starts to decline after 24 hours. However, once the temperature exceeds 25C the rate of heating and spoiling increases markedly.

And when the diets heated up the sugar content was reduced by 40g/kgDM – equivalent to 50% of the total sugars. “This reduction in sugar effectively reduced the ME of the diet by 0.64MJ/kgDM, so for every 8kgDM eaten, one less litre of milk would be produced,” Mr Carter stressed.

But the rate of heating and deterioration in mixed diets can be reduced by adding organic acids to the mix. The addition of Selko TMR restricted the growth of yeasts and moulds, so leading to slower heating of the diet and significantly reduced feed losses.

“In the trials the temperature of the untreated diet peaked at over 50C and there was visible moulding on the feed within three days while the treated feed remained at a stable temperature for three days with no signs of mould.

At an application rate of 2kg, Selko TMR costs about £3.80/t treated, making it a cost-effective way to preserve diet quality and intakes during spells of hot weather,” Mr Carter said.