May 12, 2009


Ufac-UK introduces product to improve butterfat levels in grass fed cows


It is important for dairy farmers to have a nutritional strategy to support butterfat levels in grass fed cows if they are not to lose out financially, according to Dr. Donald Lawson of Ufac-UK, as he introduced a new product that would help support butterfat levels.


Low butterfat levels can reduce milk price for compositional contracts, and a substantial price penalty for liquid contracts, he said.


Maintaining butterfat at grass is a constant challenge due to the high oil and sugar levels in grazing grass combined with its low fibre content. This affects rumen function and depresses butterfat production. But butterfat levels can be maintained with a correct nutritional strategy, which includes supplementation with a long fibre source to buffer the rumen, careful choice of concentrates and an appropriate fat supplement.


The fat, palmitic acid C16, is shown to have a positive effect on butterfat levels but has a low efficiency with a large percentage of the product passing through the cow.


Using a unique manufacturing process, Ufac-UK has developed Buta-Cup that increases the efficiency of palmitic acid by combining it with other fatty acids and a special glucose formulation.


Field trials have shown a consistent increase in butterfat of up to 0.4 percent when fed 0.5 kg per day. Milk yield has also increased by up to two litres per day and cows have maintained condition essential for good herd fertility, said Lawson.


A dairy farmer with a 200-cow herd, yielding 24 litres on a typical compositional supply contract feeding Buta-Cup could increase income by between GBP490 and GBP970 per month, he said.


A herd yielding 32 litres per cow per day could gain as much as GBP1,400 by making similar improvements in butterfat, said Lawson.


US$1 = GBP0.657676 (May 12, 2009)