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New dairy trials show value of canola meal

Canola meal may increase profits and efficiencies on dairy operations.

The Canola Council of Canada, with the help of GPS Dairy Consulting, recently conducted a field trial to determine if dairy producers could increase efficiency by replacing multiple high-priced protein sources -- such as animal protein blends and soybean meal -- with canola meal while maintaining milk yield.

Two Wisconsin dairies volunteered to participate in the trial. The first farm milked 2,100 cows with an average of 100 lb. of milk per cow per day, the council noted, while the second farm was a 700-cow dairy that also averaged 100 lb. of milk per cow per day. The trial rations replaced animal protein and high-bypass soybean meal with canola meal and rumen-protected lysine. Cows were monitored for a total of four months: two months on the control diet, and two months on the trial diet, the announcement said.

According to the Canola Council of Canada, after the trial was completed, both dairies noted:

* The trial ration was comparable in price or less expensive.

* Their yield weight of milk, fat and protein increased (Tables 1 and 2).

* The additional canola meal allowed them to streamline sourcing protein ingredients.

These findings are important for dairy operations looking to lower feed costs while maintaining production, the council said.

“The trial demonstrated that cows will readily accept 8-9 lb. of canola meal,” reported Dr. Essi Evans of Technical Advisory Services Inc. “It provided cows with a well-balanced diet and allowed higher-priced proteins to be removed.”

Although the field trials were small, the council said it was encouraged by the positive results and will continue to research the uses of canola meal for dairy animals.

Canola meal is a co-product of canola processing and is approximately 36% crude protein, with a high bypass protein value and amino acid profile well suited for milk production, according to the canola council. Because of its high protein content, canola meal is often used as a protein supplement for animal feeds, including dairy rations.

1. Farm 1 results

 

Control period

Trial period

Number of cows

1,121

1,121

Standardized days in milk

150

150

Milk yield, lb.

100.0

104.1

Fat, %

3.83

3.87

Protein, %

3.26

3.20

Fat yield, lb.

3.77

3.99

Protein yield, lb.

3.25

3.31

3.5% fat-corrected milk, lb.

104.7

109.9

Energy-corrected milk, lb.

105.0

109.5

 

2. Farm 2 results

 

Control period

Trial period

Number of cows

394

394

Standardized days in milk

150

150

Milk yield, lb.

96.5

104.1

Fat, %

4.12

3.87

Protein, %

3.12

3.09

Fat yield, lb.

3.95

3.98

Protein yield, lb.

3.08

3.20

3.5% fat-corrected milk, lb.

106.1

108.9

Energy-corrected milk, lb.

104.9

108.7

TAGS: Dairy News
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