Lallemand Animal Nutrition
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Sep 02, 2020

Taking milk performance to the next level with a proven ROI

Sep 02, 2020

Despite their smaller size, Jersey cows are extremely efficient feed converters and have the capability to achieve a greater percentage of dry matter intake (DMI) in relation to their body weight, 4.5% compared to 4.0% in larger dairy breeds. 

However, the key to ensuring the herd reach their full performance potential can hugely depend on rumen efficiency. A poor rumen environment is both costly for farmers and can result in a reduced milk yield.

A recent trial, carried out in 2019 on a commercial dairy farm in Scotland, has shown that feeding the rumen specific live yeast LEVUCELL SC (Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077) maximises milk performance throughout lactation in Jersey cows with a proven ROI of 4:1. In addition, the trial demonstrated rumen efficiency indicators are also improved.

The trial took place over 84 days and involved 22 early lactation Jersey cows – 0 to 50 Days In Milk (DIM), and 83 middle and late lactation Jersey cows – 50 to 350 DIM.

As shown in Table 1, there was a significant difference in milk performance between the control group which did not receive the addition of LEVUCELL SC , and the lactating cows which had LEVUCELL SC added to their diet at 1g/cow/day rate.

The data showed an increase for all stages of lactation, with the greatest response seen in early lactating cows, with an improved milk production of 2.3kg per head per day.

Throughout the trial, both the control group and LEVUCELL SC group were fed the same base diet of grass silage, wholecrop, draff, straw, blend and mineral supplementation. The only difference between the groups was the addition of LEVUCELL SC.

As well as the improved milk performance, LEVUCELL SC greatly improved the visible indicators of rumen efficiency and the animal’s ability to digest both forage and grain content of the diet more effectively. As shown in Table 2, a much larger proportion of Jersey cows which were fed LEVUCELL SC had better rumen efficiency.

For most dairy producers, feed costs represent their most significant economic burden. This trial has demonstrated that LEVUCELL SC can both reduce feed costs and increase turnover, resulting in an overall return on investment (ROI) of 4:1 and £0.27 per cow per day. When applied across the whole herd, this generated significant financial gains; for 180 cows in milk, it represented a daily £48.60 (£1,506/month) increase in Income Over Feed Cost (IOFC).

With the continuous milk price challenge dairy farmers face, coupled with squeezed profit margins, many farmers are examining ways to reduce their cost of milk production. However, finding methods to achieve this without impacting yield can be extremely challenging.  As shown by the trial results, adding LEVUCELL SC to the diet can provide farmers with both an improved milk performance and improvement in IOFC.

For more information, or to request the full trial results, click here to contact your Regional Business Manager.