Improving Protein Utilization to Reduce Environmental Impact of Production – Dr. Chris Reynolds, University of Reading and Dr. Mark Hanigan, Virginia Tech
Dr. Chris Reynolds, University of Reading and Dr. Mark Hanigan, Virginia Tech
Co-host: Dr. Clay Zimmerman, Balchem
Episode 36 : Improving Protein Utilization to Reduce Environmental Impact of Production
On this episode of the Real Science Exchange, we focus on ways to improve protein utilization in dairy cows to reduce our overall environmental footprint.
Dr. Chris Reynolds said that moving towards precision feeding and feeding animals closer to dietary requirements would reduce surplus nitrogen. (8:19)
It was mentioned by Dr. Mark Hanigan that a small, internal survey was taken in which nutritionists said they were focusing on nitrogen efficiency, which shows the industry is evolving. (18:41)
Furthermore, Dr. Chris Reynolds referenced the variation in forage composition and that cows respond to the longer term average, not the day-to-day variation. (39:05)
The conversation continued as Dr. Mark Hanigan said a practical way to decrease nitrogen is to decrease salt in the diet. You can always figure a benchmark for your herd once you figure out what the milk-nitrogen rate is for that diet. Then you can start pulling some protein out. If you don’t lose production or dry matter intake, then you have a new benchmark. (51:17)
To conclude, Dr. Chris Reynolds talked about the possibility of genetic testing cows for nitrogen efficiency. If we can phenotype enough cows we can look for a genetic correlation and find out if it’s an inheritable trait. (57:43)
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This podcast is sponsored by Balchem Animal Nutrition and Health.