Efficiency key to cost effective dairy diets

Nutritional supplement manufacturer UFAC-UK said the increased use of palm-based C16 fatty acids in biofuel production, combined with rising shipping costs from the Far East, is putting extreme price pressure on its use as a fat supplement in dairy diets, but efficiency measures can help mitigate cost rises.

Palm-based C16 fat supplements are widely used by UK dairy farmers to support butterfat production and prevent deductions from the milk cheque.

Nigel Bateson, UFAC-UK’s national sales manager, said: “With rising costs, it is crucial that these products are used as efficiently as possible. Many factors affect the digestibility of the fat supplement, including the level of feeding and the passage rate through the cow.”

It has been shown by researchers in both Europe (Borsting et al.,1992) and North America (Lock and de Souza, 2018) that providing a rumen inert source of unsaturated fatty acids improves the digestibility of saturated fat such as C16.

Mr Bateson said that, in particular, it has been shown that supplying rumen inert oleic acid (C18:1) has a significant effect on fat micelle formation in the intestine leading to improved fatty acid digestibility. To get the best result from C16 supplementation, it should be combined with rumen inert C18:1.

It has also been shown that supplying a range of fatty acids at intestinal level will not only maximise energy supply to the cow but also optimise fatty acid digestibility and aid NDF digestibility (Lock and de Souza 2020).

Supa Cream from UFAC-UK is a formulated fat supplement derived from highly digestible oils, boosting digestibility of both fatty acids and NDF in order to maximise energy supply to the cow.

Mr Bateson said: “By suppling C16:0 to aid butterfat production, combined with rumen inert C18:1 and glycerine to improve total fatty acid digestibility, NDF digestibility and support cow body condition, we can optimise energy supply.

“The product also contains rumen inert long chain omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) from fish oil to improve health and fertility.”

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