Canola meal a good protein source in dairy cow diets

Posted on April 24, 2013 in Dairy Performance
SchwabBy Dr. Eric Schwab In our never-ending quest to improve economic returns and efficiencies, we’re always looking at how we can include cost-effective feed ingredients in the diet without sacrificing production.  A recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Dairy Science shows that canola meal can fill that niche. The analysis looked at 88 diets from 27 experiments.  In these experiments, canola replaced either soybean meal (SBM) or “other protein supplements or blends,” such as corn gluten meal, corn or wheat distillers grains, or cottonseed meal.  The study also took into consideration the type of forage that made up a majority of the diet (grass and legume versus other forage types). Control and treatment diets were similar in crude protein content, averaging 16.6 percent of ration DM.  Canola supplementation ranged from approximately 2.2 to 8.8 pounds DM per head per day. General results When looking at the entire dataset, this analysis showed responses to substitution of protein supplements (SBM and others) with canola meal were largely positive.  The exception was milk fat percent, which was unaffected. When considering the main forage types, milk protein percentage responded positively to substitution with canola meal only in experiments based on grass and/or legume forages. Replacing SBM The meta-analysis showed that canola meal can replace SBM with similar performance results as long as crude protein is kept similar.  Milk protein yield was improved with canola meal. Replacing other protein sources Responses to substituting protein supplements other than SBM with canola were greater than the dataset as a whole.  In other words, improvements in lactation performance would be expected when canola replaces these supplements.  Feed efficiency and apparent nitrogen efficiency (milk N/N intake) were also improved with canola. The following table shows the lactation performance responses with canola.  Work with your nutritionist to see if canola supplementation is a cost-effective strategy for your operation. Lactation performance responses to substitution of a protein supplement by canola meal.Schwab chart About the author:  Dr. Eric Schwab grew up in a rural town in New Hampshire.  He attended the University of New Hampshire – Durham, where he received bachelor’s degrees in dairy management and environmental and resource economics in 1998.  While working in northeast Wisconsin, he met Dr. Randy Shaver and returned to academia at the University of Wisconsin – Madison to pursue his graduate degrees.  In Shaver’s lab, Schwab’s master’s degree research focused on kernel processing and chop length in BMR corn silage.  His Ph.D. dissertation focused on B vitamin nutrition and ruminal B vitamin synthesis in lactating dairy cows.  In September 2005, Schwab joined Vita Plus on the dairy nutrition and technical services team.  He lives in Rice Lake, Wis. with his wife and their two sons.

Category: Dairy Performance
Feed additives
Feed quality and nutrition
Milk production and components