Better-Quality Corn and Soy Ingredients for Dairy

Published on Tue, 04/30/2019 - 9:49am

 Better-Quality Corn and Soy Ingredients for Dairy

 Article provided by Insta-Pro International

 Perhaps now more than ever, dairy producers must scrutinize every part of their feeding programs and ensure that each ingredient is promoting milk yields and components as much as possible.  Ask yourselves why each and every ingredient is present in a particular formulation, how much each one costs, and what these input costs are doing to the bottom line of your operation.
All too often these types of analyses stop with the costs, ignore the benefits, and perhaps worst of all, fail to understand the overall impact of switching ingredient(s).  Simply put, if a better-quality, higher-priced ingredient is chosen, what other ingredients can now be removed?  What does this ingredient change do to dry matter intake, milk yield, and components, and to the total cost of the diet?

High-shear dry extruded corn and soy ingredients are high-quality, consistent, improved versions of these two universally-accepted feedstocks.  With soy, a mechanical oil press is also used to reduce the residual oil content of the high-shear dry extruded soy meal.
High-shear dry extruded corn exhibits highly-gelatinized starch (up to 90%  or more is possible) that degrades quickly in the rumen – faster than ground and steam-flaked corn ingredients.  In addition, efforts to shape dry extruded corn have been conducted.  Experiments will be performed to determine how the effect of shaping alters rumen retention time, milk yield, and components.  However, the underlying principle remains the same – starch and sugars are used to stimulate rumen microbial protein, some of which will feed the cow.  In some formulations, this could reduce the need for supplemental protein in the diet.

However, there will always be requirements for rumen degradable and by-pass proteins, and this is where high-shear dry extruded/mechanically pressed soy meal (known as ExPress®) enters the discussion.  High pressure, high temperature (but short time) friction-based cooking in the dry extruder creates highly-digestible by-pass protein.  Studies comparing ExPress® soy meal to other by-pass soy ingredients have exhibited its superiority in terms of stimulating milk yield.  However, it’s important to look at other characteristics of this ingredient as determined by feeding trials.  A recent study indicated that switching to ExPress® soy meal (a single ingredient change) improved dry matter intake, milk yield, weight of total components produced per day, along with higher rumen pH and other markers of improved rumen function.  Anecdotally, it’s also likely that the residual oil in ExPress® soy meal is a good source of by-pass fat – studies are ongoing to further determine this.
A good strategy to consider going forward is to use both of these high-shear dry extruded ingredients in various combinations.  The exact amount of each used in a particular formulation will vary depending on forage quality, herd performance, economics, and likely other factors.  When choosing to use these two high-quality ingredients are used, how many other ingredients can be eliminated from the diet?  A good question for your suppliers and nutritionist.
Contact Insta-Pro International about using higher-quality corn and soy ingredients in your dairy operation.