Robert A. Patton, PhD, PAS, Nittany Dairy Nutrition Inc., Mifflinburg, Pa., offers these tips for amino acid balancing for dairy cow rations:

  • Balancing rations for amino acids is not difficult, but given the tools we have, it is not straightforward. Extra calculation may be required.
  • Because of the complexities of supplying amino acids to the small intestine of a cow, models must be used to predict this supply.
  • Pick a model with which you are comfortable. Learn to use it to get the results that you are expecting.
  • The three situations where AA balance is critical are (1) in reducing protein consumption, (2) in balancing fresh cow diets, and (3) in increasing milk protein. Reducing dietary protein is the best use of amino acid balance.
  • Do not attempt amino acid balance unless the actual DMI is known for each group of cows.
  • Because many things can affect the response to amino acid balance, especially energy from NFC, check to make sure the energy from NFC is adequate. Adding energy from fat will reduce the milk protein percentage, although more pounds of milk may be produced.
  • Investment of time and study to understand the complexities of amino acid balance will result in more profit for clients while reducing the burden on the nutritionist.

Read Patton’s full report on amino acid balancing.

This information was provided by Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition’s Peak Report Online.