Research confirms the need for a holistic approach to dairy nutrition

A number of Crystalyx-funded studies conducted at a number of prestigious international research centers have confirmed that dairy farmers need to meet their animals’ nutritional needs in a holistic way.

This principle applies from the conception of a heifer calf until the end of its long and productive “working life”.

This work has also confirmed that such an approach will be useful to dairy farms for all measurable sustainability metrics – production-related and environmental-related.

Dr. Cliff Lister, Caltech’s technical director, recently spoke at a webinar. He said:

“Research clearly shows that if heifers are stopped from growing at any point in their development up to the first 100 days after calving over a long number of lactations, the end result will be a sustained and cumulative impact on their ability to produce milk sustainably .

“In addition, the work has shown that the specific nutritional needs of the transition cow and these animals must be met during the first 100 days of their new lactation,” he added.

Crystalyx milk trials

The trials were conducted to validate the benefits that a range of bespoke nutritional solutions specially designed by Crystalyx can offer dairy farmers on a consistent basis.

The new products will be officially launched on the upcoming UK Dairy Day, which will take place in Telford on Wednesday 15th September.

Lister continued, “It has long been recognized that there are key sticking points in dairy cow growth. The same principle applies to the successful management of cows before calving and during the first 100 days of their lactation.

“Mistakes made in these areas affect the heifers’ growth or, in the case of dairy cows, require a full lactation to correct.”

The research commissioned by Caltech has been carried out at a number of UK centers, including Aberystwyth, as well as at the University of Parma in Italy and the University of Agriculture in Krakow, Poland.

“Trial work was also carried out in New Zealand and Germany,” confirms Cliff Lister.

“In this way we were able to build up a very extensive inventory of research and test results.

“These confirm that it is possible to ensure a significantly improved performance in all phases of a dairy cattle’s life with tailor-made nutrition programs.”

Environmental findings

Two of the key lessons that stand out from the results of the Caltech research program relate to the significant reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) produced by growing heifers and the effects that dry cattle management has on subsequent ones. has fertility levels.

A pasture trial conducted in Germany confirmed a conception rate of 92% in heifers given the bespoke Crystalyx supplement regimen. The equivalent, courtesy of a comparable study in New Zealand, was 100%.

Lister stated, “Here too, bespoke nutrition programs will drive this change. The new Crystalyx dairy range has been specially developed to meet this need.

“The products have been independently verified as new solutions enabling dairy farmers across the UK and Ireland to develop their businesses on a fully sustainable basis.

“Caltech / Crystalyx has invested around € 290,000 in research into a number of the new dairy products. This work has enabled us to identify how they work at the metabolic level, ”he concluded.

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