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Aminomatch - Increase Utilisation of Grazed Grass Through Supplementation

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Aminomatch - Increase Utilisation of Grazed Grass Through Supplementation
By Iwan Vaughan 2 months ago

The western side of the UK has the potential to be one of the best grass growing regions of the world. However, are we fully utilising this quality feed source to our advantage?

It has been well documented that grass when grazed is the cheapest feed available on farm. The Grass Value Project run by Coleg Sir Gar at Gelli Aur between 2011 and 2013 found that grazed grass costs around £97/tonne of dry matter (DM). We can look to increase utilisation through the way we supplement.

The case for supplementation at grass depends on the specific farm situation;

  • Purchasing DM onto the farm to maintain a higher stocking rate
  • Increase DM intake on higher yielding cows
  • Supplying nutrients to match performance

Whatever the reason and/or yield aspiration and cow type, it is critical to only bring in feed or nutrients which will have a positive influence on performance and not just to fill the DM gap because of a higher stocking rate.

AMINOMATCH

As can be seen in Figure 1, crude protein (CP) is very high in grazed grass all your round, always being above 20% CP, meaning there is always a sufficient supply of rumen degradable protein available. As a result, there is no need to supplement with more CP, because as we do we are just adding cost, increasing the rate of nitrogen excreted and running a higher risk of pollution though ammonia emissions and nitrate runoff.

Grazing cows are very inefficient at converting the rumen degradable protein into metabolisable protein the cow can absorb in the small intestine. To become more efficient and environmentally proactive we can look to reduce CP intakes whilst increasing carbohydrates through starch when supplementing, this will increase rumen nitrogen efficiency and boost production.

Work done at Cornell University and Teagasc in Ireland by Professor Mike Van Amburgh and Mike Dineen (Figure 2) shows how the degradability of NDF changes through the season, with early season spring grass being very degradable, with grass disappearing rapidly within the rumen and broken down and absorbed. As the season goes on, as can be seen by autumn grass this is degraded slower in rumen, although this is far quicker than most other forages we would feed. The degradability of NDF follows the growth rate curve through the season, with very digestible grass being seen through April and May (2nd and 3rd round grass) and also as we get a second peak of growth in late August/September. As growth rates drop in mid-summer, the degradability of the grass NDF will also drop and break down slower within the rumen.

To maximise the output of grazed grass and reduce nutrient loss out of the rumen, rumen outflow rates will be increased on more degradable NDF grass, this is when we see the cows having loose faeces, nutrients have passed through the rumen too quickly and the potential for better performance has been lost.

Figure 2 is a feeding programme best suited to maximise output and capture of the nutrients of grazed grass.

Amino Match Grazing Programme

The programme is designed to match the nutrient requirements to optimize the performance of grazed grass as the quality of the pasture changes through the grazing season.

Figure 3 shows where the compounds fi t and when best to utilise. During the shoulders of the grazing season, when also feeding silage, Extra Balanced 16 would be the preferred feeding option.

Grass Booster MP

Designed to optimise the use of the most digestible spring and autumn grass to maximise intakes, increase nitrogen efficiency and nutrient capture within the rumen.

  • Ideally suited to complement high quality pasture - second and third round grass rotations - can be fed throughout grazing season
  • Inclusion of NIS (Nutritionally Improved Straw), to increase the amount of slow pool NDF, and complement very digestible grass
  • Inclusion of Protected Soya to increase metabolisable protein and complementing high protein grass
  • High starch to utilise and capture more of the protein within grass to increase production
  • Mineralised to prevent grass staggers and deficiencies along with elevated levels of chelated zinc and copper to fully support milk production at low feed rates

Grass Booster 12 or 14

Designed to balance the use of grazed grass throughout the grazing season, that is high in rumen degradable protein and low in fi bre. Designed to increase rumen nitrogen efficiency, improve rumen health and increase production. Available in 12% and 14% Crude Protein.

  • High starch, low protein feed, formulated to be fed at a lower feed rate (2-4kg) to cows at pasture.
  • Ideally suited to complement mid-summer and autumn pasture – after second and third round grass rotations - can be fed throughout grazing season
  • High starch to utilise and capture more of the protein within grass to increase production
  • Greater utilisation and increased rumen nitrogen efficiency
  • Mineralised to prevent grass staggers and deficiencies along with elevated levels of chelated zinc and copper to fully support milk production at low feed rates

AMINOMATCH

Iwan Vaughan

Iwan Vaughan

Head of Dairy Technical Services

m: 07990 578548

Email Iwan