I have used many ingredients in my time either as a nutritionist or on the family farm. But 15 years ago, when I first used Prairie meal, I did see a significant improvement in yield, constituents, and fertility. Like many things we must consider all other factors.
Some of you will be looking at your protein options scratching your head about;
1. What you can actually use?
2. What do the cows need?
3. And how do we balance this?
Supermarkets banning Soya meal, Soya hulls and other derivatives, has a great impact on affordable protein options, whilst removing an excellent constituent improver. Combine this with Palm Kernel and other palm derivatives, including many fat products (palm based) and another fibre source is also banned. The crusade for sustainability whilst important and good, fails to consider the economic impact this has on farms. Lucernes, Red clover and other home-grown proteins are ok, but they will only bridge part of the gap. Fibre can be added from sugar beet, chopped straw or lucerne but the two later inevitably require a change in system and infrastructure.
In my experience Xylig-Treated Rape meal is ok, it has a reasonable amino acid spread, however it is high in oil at 10.4% which combined with other oils can impact constituents and rumen function. This can be an issue at grazing when grass oils can be high.
As you can see from the table below Prairie meal offers the best source of protein and is high in both starch and energy. It provides the most bypass protein (40%) of all protein options making it an excellent alternative to soya meal. It is also the only protein to provide more Methionine to Lysine. Methionine is the most limiting amino acid in a cow’s diet, but it needs to be correctly balanced with Lysine. The correct ratio is Lysine (77%) 7.04 : 2.07 (23%) Methionine. As you can see Soya meal has more Lysine to Methionine and why a small amount of prairie meal balances it very well. This is also why 50:50 Soya meal and Rape meal works well whilst on a Waitrose diet Rapemeal or Xylig-Treated Rape and protected Lysine is a good fit.
Prairie meal is either limited in supply from the Trafford centre or imported from North America. It usually lands in tote bags inside containers meaning prices are much higher than raw materials in a bulker.
For Ration Formulation advice, please contact Wesley at email@example.com or your local FCG Office.