Research carried out at the University of Nottingham is challenging the soyabean meal 'is best' notion as the primary source of rumen-bypass protein in dairy rations.

“In the trial, switching to rumen-protected rapeseed expeller produced a significant increase in daily milk yield (plus 1.7kg/cow) and dry matter intake (plus 1.2kg/day) and similar yields of milk fat and protein,” pointed out KW's nutritionist, Charlotte Ward.

The change also offered substantial cost savings. She added that the price of the UK-produced rumen-protected rapeseed expeller, NovaPro, is currently around 14% below* that of soya meal, resulting in a rumen-bypass protein cost of 15.5p/100g DUP, compared to 17.3p/100g DUP.

“Many don’t realise that the amino acid profile of rapeseed protein is a much better match for milk production than the protein in soya meal,” Ms Ward said. “Numerous research studies over the years have shown the increased yields when including rapeseed meals.

“The challenge is that modern high yielding cows need a good supply of the digestible undegraded protein (DUP) that bypasses the rumen, which traditional rapeseed meal doesn’t provide. Using NovaPro heat-treated rapeseed expeller solves this issue, as it contains similar levels of DUP as in soya meal, yet with a amino acid profile that’s so beneficial to milk production.”

* Based on prices correct at the time of writing and subject to change and in 29-tonne tipped bulk loads delivered on-farm January to April within 50 miles of origin.