For the Future of Farming


C16 product can boost butterfats

Afbeelding: FF MilkPower bag vis

ForFarmers has launched a C16 fat product to help improve low butterfats, following successful trial work at the company’s nutrition and innovation centre, based near Lochem in the Netherlands. MilkPower FF160 was trialled against other fat products and the researchers found that it increased butterfat content more than any other, while also having a positive effect on milk yield.

Palmitic acid (C16:0) is used in milk fat synthesis to a large extent and, therefore, adding fats that comprise mainly C16 to rations can have a significant effect on milk fat content. One trial involved both mid-lactation (180 days in milk) and early lactation cows, which were 80 days in milk. Adding bypass fats to their rations increased milk fat yield, but the most effective supplementary feed to increase butterfat content was MilkPower FF160.

A number of dietary factors can impact on butterfats, including fibre digestion, rumen activity and fat content. Ensuring that cows have enough forage – buffer feeding at grass and including digestible fibre energy feeds – can help. But providing enough of the right type of fat in the diet also plays a key role. Early season grass has a low fibre and a high sugar content, which tends to reduce milk fat and this is why a seasonal depression, from April until mid summer, is often seen. MilkPower FF160 will, therefore, be particularly useful to producers who are facing butterfat penalties as cows go out to grass.

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