The concept of N efficiency and its future role in diet formulation

Published on 2-01-2021 - By Kemin

Without supplementing rumen-protected amino acids, we will not meet the required Lysine or Methionine needs in the diets of ruminants according the latest nutritional models. The best strategy to increase the supply of these essential amino acids is to optimise rumen fermentation. This will maximise the flow of bacterial protein to the small intestine. Once this has been achieved, it is difficult to improve the flow of essential amino acids using traditional feeds. To achieve this, there are two options. The first option is to increase the total amount of dietary protein (which increases the cost and the emissions of Nitrogen (N) to the environment, reducing the efficiency of N utilisation). The second option is to balance diets for amino acids using rumen-protected sources.

Carbon footprint in dairy farms

Several studies have underlined the need to supplementing rumen-protected amino acids and the effect of this not only on milk protein and casein content but animal health and reproduction. Given the grown importance of the carbon footprint in dairy farms, we also see a reasonable number of studies showing a positive impact on the efficiency of N utilization.

Statement by Sergio Calsamiglia

"In these studies, they maintain production of milk protein (kg/d) with lower total dietary protein, or provide additional rumen-protected amino acids to increase the yield of protein (kg/d) with almost the same dietary protein. In these cases, there is either less N intake for the same protein yield, or a more protein yield with almost the same total dietary protein. In both cases, the efficiency of N utilisation is improved. I believe that the concept of N efficiency and its implication on the environment are going to play a relevant role in the future of diet formulation", stated by Sergio Calsamiglia from the department of Animal and Food Sciences, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona. 

The role of amino acids on Nitrogen efficiency

In the last 20 years both research, the government, and the industry have invested in research to improve the feed efficiency (more N retained). Our role as an industry partner is to search for additive solutions that help to control N losses during rumen fermentation or to develop rumen-protected amino acids that will allow the optimal balance of amino acid supply. These solutions improve efficiency, which results in lower emissions (less N lost). Reducing emissions will then again result in improved efficiency, which makes the strategy of our partners profitable.

Here, we share our latest interview published in Feedinfo. Sergio Calsamiglia and Diego Martinez del Olmo focus on Nitrogen efficiency and the role of amino acid balancing.