Milk protein the key to better prices

With milk prices in decline, it is vital to do all you can to maximise the price received under the milk contract.

Milk protein the key to better prices

With milk prices in decline, it is vital to do all you can to maximise the price received under the milk contract. UFAC UK’s David Bonsall says that for many farmers increasing milk protein will be a valuable strategy.

Over 50% of the milk in the UK is produced on constituent based contracts so maximising milk composition is essential. While prices for butterfat are typically 1.25-3.00 p/% over the contract base level, for protein the range is 2.00-4.50p/%. This makes protein more valuable and increasing protein more profitable. Protein percent responds to changes in the diet, particularly energy and protein content. Look closely at the diet, particularly of early lactation cows. to ensure sufficient energy and quality protein to meet requirements.

Cows in negative energy balance will mobilise muscle as well as fat to meet the energy gap. As muscle contains protein, the diet needs to supply adequate protein and amino acids to restore the muscle. If the diet does not meet the cow’s needs she will redirect nutrients to rebuild the muscle, using protein and amino acids usually used to produce milk protein. This will result in suppressed milk protein and lower milk prices.

There are two feeding strategies that will help maintain and increase milk protein content.

The first is to ensure rumen function is maximised to optimise the supply of microbial protein which is a major driver of milk protein content. This requires a balanced supply of rapidly and slowly fermented energy and protein while maintaining rumen pH. Feeding rumen inert balanced fatty acids such as Dynalac or Omega Cream in place of some of the cereals can help reduce ruman acid load and the risk of SARA, helping maintain rumen pH and so increase overall rumen efficiency, optimising cow health and total milk components.

The second is to ensure the diet contains sufficient bypass protein which is used for both milk protein and muscle regeneration. Even if muscle is not being replaced, a shortage of bypass protein will depress milk protein yield. Including Promega or Promega Plus in the diet will deliver the bypass protein cows require to complement rumen synthesised microbial protein. The methionine in Promega Plus boosts the supply of this essential, but often limiting amino acid.

The opportunity to increase milk components, particularly protein, to help support milk prices needs to be grasped. The starting point is making sure the diet delivers exactly what the cow needs.

Related Stories

New palm-free fat supplement increases milk yields and helps lower carbon footprint

Launch of envirolac has the potential to transform dairy sector performance and enhance sustainability credentials

By UFAC in Latest News

Row of cows eating food

UK Heatwave: Protecting dairy herds from heat stress

As the dry weather period continues across the UK, it’s not only heat stress that our industry needs to contend with. According to the latest report by GrassWatch, grass growth rates are falling and are well below the last 6-year average.

By UFAC in Latest News

Five dairy cows grazing in a field on a sunny day

Precision feeding can help extend grazing period

Technical Manager, Mike Chown, explains how dairy farmers can increase milk from forage and achieve margins through precision feeding.

By UFAC in Latest News

Seven brown cows feeding on grass in a field

Palm-free fat supplementation research results revealed at DairyTech 2022

Results have the potential to transform dairy sector performance and sustainability credentials

By UFAC in Latest News

News

Stay up to date with our latest news & product updates


New palm-free fat supplement increases milk yields and helps lower carbon footprint

By UFAC in Latest News

Row of cows eating food

UK Heatwave: Protecting dairy herds from heat stress

By UFAC in Latest News

Five dairy cows grazing in a field on a sunny day

Precision feeding can help extend grazing period

By UFAC in Latest News

Seven brown cows feeding on grass in a field

Palm-free fat supplementation research results revealed at DairyTech 2022

By UFAC in Latest News

Head and shoulers shot of man smiling, Robert Jones, UFAC.

UFAC-UK announces CIEL supported ruminant research partnership project with University of Nottingham

By UFAC in Latest News

Head and shoulers shot of man smiling, Nigel Bateson, UFAC.

UFAC-UK joins forces with the industry to help promote sustainability of dairy farming

By UFAC in Latest News

Large male orange cow. Standing in front of Harrison and Hetherington backdrop.

Key component of bull ration helps achieve top price

By UFAC in Latest News

Two cows beside UFAC dynalac product.

Palm-free alternative for optimum dairy performance

By UFAC in Latest News

milk splashing

Optimising milk from forage in order to increase margins requires precision feeding

By UFAC in Latest News

Line of cows being milked by milking machine.

Don’t compromise dairy performance by underestimating mycotoxin contamination

By UFAC in Latest News