May 18, 2015

18/05/2015: Looking to thrive or trying to survive with no milk quotas?

Kemin explains why profitability plan should include optimizing dairy nutrition
immediately with amino acid nutrition

Whether angered, excited or ambivalent by the European Union’s lifting of milk quotas, everyone can agree the competitive landscape for the dairy industry is set to change dramatically. The quota system, set up some 30 years ago, is being stopped so EU dairy businesses can increase production and compete with international competitors in supplying fast-growing markets, such as Asia and Africa.

As the competitive landscape for these markets increases, European farmers will be looking to develop a management program that optimises the dairy yield per cow, reduces production costs and helps chart a new course for long term profitability. According to the IFCN Dairy Report of 2014, Europe has some of the areas with the highest milk production costs in the world with Poland, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain and all Scandinavian countries as top areas. Moreover, these areas are expected to have the highest increase in milk production after the quota.
Image: Mel B.
The new, open market system has economists and farmers asking: Can higher milk production compensate for the production cost? How will milk prices be affected? Am I ready for a free market? Will my farm survive?

While no one has the answers, one thing is sure – how successful a dairy farmer is will be determined by how they are able to manage profitability through decreasing costs and increasing production. That’s where Kemin comes into play with ingredients proven to optimize dairy nutrition immediately through the management of amino acid nutrition.

Amino acid nutrition is one of the most quickly developing sciences in dairy nutrition and is an important tool to drive fertility, increase milk production and boost profitability.

“Feed cost represents more than 50 percent of the total milk production cost. That’s why one of the first and most important areas to focus is in the area if dairy nutrition and feed management,” said John Springate, president of the animal nutrition and health division of Kemin in Europe. 

“We are committed to sharing insights that help nutritionists, feed manufacturers and farmers understand how amino acids contribute to the efficiency of milk production and growing herds more efficiently.”

Efficient feed management guarantees that all of animal requirements are met. During ration formulation, nutritionists look at common parameters such as energy, starch, fiber, crude protein, minerals and vitamins. Those are big pieces of a puzzle but some of these parameters don’t take into account the rising cost of protein sources or the protein degradation that happens in the rumen.

It is expected that the opportunity side of the open market system will go to those who quickly adopt proven nutritional techniques for optimal dairy production. Research published by Ikeda et al. (2012) has shown that methionine could positively affect dairy cow fertility. As a conclusion of this study, Ikeda stated that methionine has an essential role in the development of the bovine embryo from morula to blastocyst. 

This is an important step in the preimplantation of embryos and therefore fertility.  Moreover Wiltbank et al. (2014) stated that the dramatic induction of the rate-limiting amino acids, methionine, histidine and lysine, in the uterine fluid of pregnant cows near the time of embryo elongation suggests that elevated amounts of these amino acids may be critical for this important stage of embryo development.

Encapsulation or rumen protection is one of the newest technologies that may be able help improve the bioavailability of amino acids and lowers the amount of protein needed to balance the diet.  This technology provides opportunities for the nutritionist to formulate for more precisely targeted nutrient concentration, including nitrogen which also improves the nitrogen efficiency (N-efficiency) on the overall farm.

These efficiencies in nutritional modeling span the entire operation from milk production, milk quality and animal health to reducing the N-load to the environment. Balancing the dairy ration with rumen protected amino acids such as methionine and lysine are excellent ways to secure profitability in the dairy sector and reduce the carbon footprint in the environment.

Kemin offers a portfolio of nutritional solutions to improve the supply of efficient and essential nutrients to dairy cows such as rumen-protected sources of choline (CholiPEARLTM), methionine (Smartamine® M and MetaSmart®) and lysine (LysiPEARLTM). These nutrients will help to face the main challenges that dairy cows meet along the different stages of the lactation.

Visit the Kemin site HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine GFMT
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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