SILAGE ADDITIVE CHOICE CAN BOOST FERTILITY
Preserving silage with Genus ABS Powerstart which contains the unique bacteria strain Lactobacillus plantarum Aber F1 can reduce calving to conception interval by 10 days, worth £50 per cow..
The finding is the result of a major, statistically-significant study involving over 100 herds and 25,000 cows backed up by an extensive, independent review of published research from several leading dairy countries.
Paul Nunn of Genus ABS explains that Lactobacillus plantarum Aber F1 was selected following extensive independent evaluation of over 1000 strains of lactic acid producing bacteria carried out at IGER.
“Unlike most strains of Lactobacillus, L. plantarum Aber F1 is a fructan degrading strain which means it has access to more sugars in total to fuel the fermentation, resulting in a more rapid fermentation. The outcome is a silage with more rumen available carbohydrate, a higher proportion of true protein and fewer free amino acids due to reduced protein degradation.”
Mr Nunn explains the higher proportion of true protein and superior sugar levels increases rumen efficiency when the silage is fed. He says that in a typical fermentation with more free amino acids and less available sugar, there can be an imbalance in the rumen, with too much nitrogen released and a shortage of rumen available energy.
“This imbalance leads to high levels of rumen ammonia production which is excreted as urea into the blood and milk. In silage fermented with L plantarum Aber F1 the improved balance of sugars and true protein results in reduced blood urea levels and these lower urea levels are the key to better fertility with Powerstart treated silage.”
He says high blood urea levels are known to reduce fertility in three ways. Firstly, cows with blood high urea levels have longer intervals between heat periods. Secondly, high urea levels hamper the development of the eggs in the ovary, leading to poorer quality eggs, which reduces the chance of fertilisation. Finally, high blood urea levels alter conditions in the uterus and reduce progesterone levels meaning cows are susceptible to an increased risk of abortion or embryo reabsorption.
“Converting ammonia into urea also wastes energy, increasing the risk of cows in early lactation suffering extended negative energy balance and losing more condition which is known to have a negative effect on fertility.
“Silage made using L. plantarum Aber F1 helps reduce the reproductive problems associated with high blood urea levels, increasing the likelihood of a cow getting pregnant, and remaining pregnant. In herds in the UK this has been shown to be worth £50 per cow.”
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