Protein for Dairy Cows this Summer
Protein as a nutrient is an integral part of dairy cows ration. The quantity of quality protein becomes critical during summer months as pasture quality drops rapidly. Insuf cient protein in a cows daily diet is re ected as low milk production and low protein component.
Although daily offering of a high quality, legumerich pasture is the cost-effective way to meet the protein needs of milking cows, often quality pasture is not available. The common strategy adopted in summer is to feed legume hay or silage, which contain suf cient protein but also comes with extra fibre (NDF) to limit overall protein intake. Protein in pasture and conserved fodder generally meets the protein needs of rumen bacteria.
Conversely, high quality protein supplied through Canola Meal, Soybean Meal and Lupins, are best delivered by feeding an extra kilogram or two of nutritionally balanced dairy pellets. Pellets are naturally low in NDF compared to conserved fodder and summer pasture. High quality protein is readily available for utilisation and conversion to milk and milk protein.
Strategies to adopt this summer to maximize protein intake
Tactical management of pasture rotation so that quality pasture is always available for grazing.
Feed a nutritionally balanced dairy pellet containing at least 16% protein.
Reduce the amount of hay and low quality silage feeding.
If you require some on farm assistance please call 1800 COPRICE.