ProtiSpar reduces protein requirements: Why shouldn’t we keep going?
It takes a lot of feed to keep 300 cows well fed, and that takes up a lot of budget planning. If you add the rising feed prices on top of that, it may be time to look for alternatives. For that reason, Bent Jørgensen was also quick to say yes when he was called up by his consultant from DLG, who offered him to be a trial farm for ProtiSpar - an additive that allows you to save on protein by unchanged energy allocation.
“We have been using it for 1½ month now. I was very ready to try it out when my consultant Steen told me about it at one of our meetings. It seems like an obvious option in relation to the challenges we have with feed prices right now. We have to save where we can. And when we save on soy protein in the feed, it’s also good for the environment in the end. It’s only an advantageous calculation in my book,” says Bent and continues:
“The transition to using ProtiSpar in the feed has gone really well. We have replaced a little over half a kilo of soybean meal per cow per day, which is little more than what DLG had promised. So, I'm really happy about that.”
Reduced nitrogen emissions
From DLG and Vilofoss' side, ProtiSpar's ability to increase nitrogen efficiency and thereby reduce ammonia emissions has been documented in experiments in Baden-Württemberg in Germany in 2019.
In a ration with 32% grass silage, 46% maize silage, 8% rapeseed cakes, 4.5% a-mixture, 8% AMS concentrate, 20 g feed urea and minerals, 1 kg of rapeseed cakes was replaced with 1 kg of the a-mixture and ProtiSpar added. The energy content was almost identical, however with a small reduction from 24.2 kg to 23.1 kg TS per cow per day in the ProtiSpar ration. The crude protein content was reduced from 15.5% to 14.7%.
Jannie Rodenberg Ugelvig, Ruminant Technical Manager at Vilofoss, talks about the results:
“There was a reduction in the urea content of the milk of 23mg / L at the same time as the cell number also fell from 246,000 to 168,000. The performance was as expected at an unchanged level. If the unchanged performance response is compared with the feed values for energy and protein, ProtiSpar in the feed ration achieves both improved feed efficiency, but at the same time also improved protein efficiency since less protein was used to achieve the same performance. When examining the urine samples from the control and the test group, a numerical reduction was also found in the excretion of urea via urine in the cows where ProtiSpar was added to the feed ration.”
“The trial in Baden-Württemberg is just one of the documented examples of how ProtiSpar can make a difference on the farms. We actually see the same positive response from our customers like the case with Bent Jørgensen,” concludes Jannie Rodenberg Ugelvig.
The plan is to keep going
As previously stated, Bent Jørgensen has been successful in reducing protein allocation in his feed and can also be happy that he is doing something good with regards to sustainability. But what effect does it have when it comes to the financials?
“I can see something on earnings per cow when it comes to saving on soy proteins in the feed. With the contracts I had regarding feed, we were down to about 15-20 pennies (DKK 0,15-0,20) savings per. cow a day. It's not very much, but I also had some very advantageous contracts. With the current price levels, I can see that with ProtiSpar we can save up to DKK 1 per cow per day and that’s where it starts to make sense, ”says Bent.
And the overall behavior of the cows hasn’t changed much.
"I have not seen any change in the milk yield - it is the status quo, and that’s part of the goal. On that front I am very satisfied. The same goes for the appetite, they also eat as they usually do, ”says Bent.
But would you dare to invest in ProtiSpar in the long run? The answer is clear if you ask Bent Jørgensen.
"The plan from here is just to continue – now that we have learned that it works, why shouldn’t we keep going?" he concludes.