For the Future of Farming


Effective rumen buffering

This year’s grass silage results, on average, indicate higher dry matter, increased fibre and lower energy forage compared to 2015.

This means that many producers will be feeding increased levels of faster fermenting feeds, such as cereals containing starch. ForFarmers’ Brian Doran explains that, as producers aim to increase milk from forage, the energy available for milk production in grass silage will typically be less, so concentrate levels will see increased feed rates this winter. “Freshly calved cows, which receive high levels of feed to meet energy demands, may find that their natural rumination process is insufficient to meet the acidosis challenge from the diet, so additional buffering may be required.”

Lactating cows can produce more than 200 litres of alkaline saliva every day, recycling more than 2.5kg per day of sodium bicarbonate into the rumen. “Research by ForFarmers’ Nutrition and Innovation Centre (NIC) shows that sodium bicarbonate has only a shortterm buffering effect in the rumen and if feed is supplemented with sodium bicarbonate once or twice during the day then much of the buffering effect is lost either in the TMR mix or shortly after feeding,” he adds.

Many conventional rumen buffers use sodium bicarbonate, but ForFarmers’ Rumibuff contains a balance of natural marine algae and natural antioxidants. The product’s natural honeycombed structure increases the surface area and breaks down more slowly than conventional buffers in the rumen. 

For the Rumibiuff product card click here or for more information call 0870 0500 306.