Submitted to: Extension Fact Sheets
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: February 10, 2011
Publication Date: February 28, 2011
Citation: Soder, K.J. 2011. Effect of molasses supplementation on ruminal fermentation. Extension Fact Sheets. p. 1.
Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.
This fact sheet summarizes the results of two continuous culture fermentor studies that evaluated the effects of molasses supplementation on ruminal fermentation of a pasture diet. The first study compared molasses with corn supplementation. Diets consisted of pasture only, molasses plus pasture, corn meal plus pasture, or molasses plus corn meal plus pasture. Results indicate that molasses, at 5% of dry matter (DM) fed, responded similarly to corn meal (7% of DM fed) with regard to ruminal fermentation, and all supplemented diets only responded marginally better than the pasture-only diet. The second study evaluated the interaction between level of molasses supplementation and forage quality. Two levels of molasses supplementation (5 or 10% of total DM fed) were fermented with two levels of pasture forage quality (high or low). No significant interactions were detected between level of molasses supplementation and forage quality. Results of this work, conducted at the USDA-ARS Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit in University Park, PA, indicate that there may be other management and feeding factors that impact response to molasses supplementation, resulting in the variable anecdotal responses observed on organic dairy farms.