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29-09-2015

Effective Rumen buffering important this winter

There is greater potential for milk production from higher ME first cut grass silage this year compared to last year (11.1 ‘v’ 10.8 MJ/kg DM), however lower fibre levels and higher retained sugar levels also means farmers must pay close attention to indicators such as silage rumination index and acidosis index particularly on first cut silage says ForFarmers’ David Gabbott.

Freshly calved cows that receive high levels of feed to meet energy demands may find their natural rumination process is insufficient to meet the acidosis challenge from the diet therefore additional buffering may be required.

Lactating dairy cows can produce over 200 litres of alkaline saliva every day, recycling more than 2.5kg/d of sodium bicarbonate into the rumen. Recent work by ForFarmers shows that sodium bicarbonate has only a short-term buffering effect in the rumen and if feed is supplemented with sodium bicarbonate once or twice during the day much of the buffering effect is lost, either in the TMR mix or shortly after feeding.

Many conventional rumen buffers use sodium bicarbonate, however ForFarmers Rumibuff contains a balance of carefully selected natural marine algae and natural antioxidants. The product’s original honeycombed structure increases the surface area and breaks down more slowly than conventional buffers in the rumen, providing a continuous buffering action which counteracts the acid produced by the diet, particularly when starch fermentation is at its maximum.

Rumibuff is an excellent, sustainable source of bioavailable minerals and trace elements which are deposited naturally from the sea. Together with a combination of natural antioxidants and vitamins, this helps to condition the rumen microbes for increased dry matter intake and improved performance.

For more information call ForFarmers DML on 0870 0500 306.