by Mike Richter, Dairy Technical Services Manager
Recently there has been interest in feeding sugar in ruminant diets for obvious reasons like: increased Dry Matter Intake (DMI), reduced TMR sorting, improved energy balance, and so on. Today, I’d like to review a few of the many extra benefits to feeding molasses-based liquid supplements that alternative feeds may not be able to provide.
Did you know, that molasses-based liquid supplements can support more than just adding sugar to diets? Below is a chart showing just a handful of added benefits that can be delivered through molasses-based liquid supplements. I will focus on a few for today’s discussion:
- TMR Preservatives – Unlike dry premix and liquid whey products, molasses-based liquid supplements can deliver TMR stabilizers in the form mixed organic acids. This is important during summer heat stress periods to keep TMR’s cool and reduce rapid spoiling. This is very important to maintain DMI which can suffer during warmer or humid weather. QLF offers Kemin’s Myco Curb and Ultra Curb preservatives for addition to Dairy TMR products.
- Vitamin/Mineral/Supplement – While dry blends can deliver the added nutrition for your rations, they are unable to deliver consistent daily nutrition. What does that mean? Dry products are easily shaken out of positional distribution in the TMR rendering them to be sorted by the cattle. This is important to deliver a consistent level of nutrition 24 hours a day allowing for equal intake for timid or smaller animals when confronted by the boss cow. Remember, even rumen health is improved by limiting acidosis opportunities, providing the potential improvement in performance and feed efficiency.
- Quality control – Commodity ingredients like whey permeate, DDGS and even canola meal can have inconsistent nutrient profiles. So what….What happens if you’re short on protein? High on fat? High on protein? Being short on protein can reduce DMI and animal performance both long and short term. Being high on fat, as can be found in DDGS, could lead to depressed butterfat production and DMI. High on protein can lead to overfeeding and loss of revenue by not being able to reduce ration cost. Unless every load is being checked and results are immediately available, all of these scenarios are very real. QLF molasses-based liquid supplements are manufactured to nutrient specifications using nutritious ingredients which result in a very consistent and cost-effective ration ingredient.
In summary, many ration ingredients can fall short on delivering consistent nutrition and flexibility to the herd’s diet. Molasses-based liquid supplements from QLF however, have demonstrated the ability to cost-effectively and consistently deliver a diverse range of nutrient provisions, leading to improved profitability.
When exploring options for your herd’s rations, consider QLF products and the flexibility they can deliver.