Cutting edge Dairy Nutrition

In pasture-based systems, especially in springtime, the pastures are high in protein. This causes an oversupply of protein to the rumen of dairy cows with several associated problems. However, when decreasing the crude protein level of the concentrate, there is almost always a reduction in milk production because of the lowered by-pass protein fraction as these two are correlated. By-pass protein is essential for milk production.

ProtiBoost is a natural plant extract and essential oil with the main function of converting rumen available protein into by-pass protein, with several benefits. ProtiBoost gives us the ability to reduce the protein level of the feed, yet keep the bypass fraction unchanged and therefore the milk production unchanged. There is also a cost-benefit as by-pass protein is an expensive part of a dairy ration. With protein source raw material’s cost going up, ProtiBoost becomes more attractive. Additionally, we expect improved fertility and cow health due to better energy balances as the body does not need to use energy to get rid of an oversupply of protein.

The first goal with ProtiBoost was to trial it on a pasture-based system in early spring in the Kwazulu-Natal area. Trials done at two De Heus farms showed that when grass quality is high and sufficient grass intakes were achieved, the ProtiBoost inclusion had a positive effect on margins. From these results, the PasturePro range was developed, which includes ProtiBoost. Two products where developed called PasturePro Super and PasturePro Top. The PasturePro products boasted high-quality specifications, equal to or higher than the Elite range, yet was better priced. Used in the right circumstances, the PasturePro gave good results when cows were grazing young fresh ryegrass, which helped farmers perform better in tough circumstance and improving the general health of their herds.

PasturePro and ProtiBoost is at the cutting edge of dairy nutrition and one of the ways De Heus is trying to help their customers powering progress.

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