Tackling the issues that commonly disrupt rumen function are vital to maximise production from forage, digestive health and margins this season. Lallemand Animal Nutrition’s Regional Business Manager Mike Burns believes the key to this will be targeting problems with the most cost-effective solution.
On a Northern Ireland farm this week, during a yeast workshop Mike points out that a vast range of factors will affect rumen function, including forage quality and overall diet composition, frequency of feeding, access to feed during the day and cow environment. All management needs to be tailored to maintaining effective rumen function, reducing the risk factors that can cause a decline in rumen performance.
He says as soon as rumen pH falls, the effectiveness of many bacteria and fungi, particularly those responsible for degrading fibre will decline resulting in poorer fibre digestion. To reduce the impact of acidosis he says you need to influence the balance of microorganisms in the rumen, increasing those that utilise lactic acid while reducing those that are lactic acid producers.
He identifies mycotoxins as another problem which will reduce how well cows perform, suggesting it is difficult to predict how widespread problems will be this year. However, he is sure some farmers will see issues with mycotoxins either from aerobic instability in forages or from contaminated concentrated feedstuffs or poorly stored biproducts.
“Many products sold as being able to improve rumen health are based on yeast, either live yeast or dead yeast. Extensive research has confirmed that while live yeast is effective in improving rumen efficiency, not all strains are the same. Some are more effective than others and all yeasts can be complemented with other ingredients to improve their ability to resolve specific issues, including mycotoxin binder and acidosis reduction”.
Levucell SC power mixes are based on the rumen specific live yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 which has been shown to improve fibre digestion and rumen efficiency across a range of different forages and challenges.
The range is available exclusively in Northern Ireland through Fane Valley Agronomy and Forage services. For further information please call the team on 028 9261 0485.
Pictured: (R) Mike Burns from Lallemand, Jonathan Crawford and Christian Melly from Fane Valley on farm this week looking at silage intakes.