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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics


Location: Cell Wall Biology and Utilization Research

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The objectives of the proposed research are: 1) to determine the nutritional value of canola meal as a protein supplement for lactating dairy cows; 2) to develop improved methodology for quantifying protein utilization in cattle; and 3) to improve N efficiency and reduce urinary N excretion during milk production.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Preliminary in situ assessment of variation in ruminal protein degradation in canola meal will be carried out with samples collected from a range of canola production plants. Samples will be chemically analyzed for DM, ash, NDF, NDIN, ADIN, total N, buffer-soluble N, NPN, and amino acid (AA) composition. Initial degradability screening of canola samples (plus standard soybean meals) will be conducted by incubating replicates in the in situ rumen for 12 hr in ruminally cannulated cows. Based on these results, a subset representing the range of in situ degradabilities in the sample set will be incubated with the Michaelis-Menten inhibitor in vitro procedure to estimate protein degradation rates and RUP. Degradability of canola meals fed in the in vivo trials will be determined to confirm that the meals have similar degradability. A feeding study will assess canola meal (CM) value, relative to solvent soybean meal (SSBM), as a protein supplement for dairy cows. Five protein sources and amounts will be fed: 2 supplemental proteins (SSBM and CM), at 2 CP levels (15 and 17% CP), with all added CP from SSBM (15 and 17% CP), CM (15 and 17% CP), or half from SSBM and half from CM (17% CP). Additional diets with the same CP sources, but with supplemental rumen-protected Met + Lys, will also be fed. We hypothesize that if canola meal supplies greater amounts of absorbed His, then that effect will only be apparent after any Met + Lys deficiency is corrected. Basal diets will be composed of alfalfa and corn silages plus high-moisture corn. These dietary treatments will be fed as 2 parallel sets of 5x5 Latin squares; the study will have five 3-wk periods. Forty cows will be grouped by parity and days-in-milk into 8 blocks of 5. Ten ruminally cannulated cows, fed the same diets, will also be used in 2 replicated 5x5 Latin squares for omasal and ruminal sampling. Production data from the last week of each period will be analyzed using mixed procedures of SAS. Cows will be fed individually for ad libitum intake; intake and milk yield data will be collected daily. Milk samples will be taken mid-week at 4 milkings during week 3 of each period and analyzed for fat, protein, lactose, SNF, and urea. Cows will be weighed 3 consecutive days at start and end of each period. Blood samples and spot samples of feces and urine will be collected at the end of each period. Blood plasma will be deproteinized and analyzed for urea and free AA. Internal markers in urine (creatinine) and feces (indigestible ADF) will be used to estimate urinary excretion of urea and total N, apparent nutrient digestibility, and fecal N excretion. Omasal sampling will quantify ruminal flows of RDP, RUP, microbial protein and AA. Ruminal samples will be analyzed for metabolite concentrations. Samples of all feeds and TMR will be analyzed for DM, ash, NDF, ADF, CP, ADIN, NDIN, indigestible ADF, and ether extract. Silage extracts will be analyzed for pH, NPN and fermentation products. Results of the initial production-omasal sampling trial will dictate the subsequent experiments to be conducted.

3. Progress Report:
This project is related to the following objective and sub-objective of the parent project: Objective 1. Improve accuracy, reproducibility, and ease of measuring/estimating feed digestibility; sub-objective 1.B.: Develop and evaluate in vitro methods for assessment of ruminal degradability of dietary proteins. This project was initiated in July 2010. In vitro incubations measured the rumen degradability of protein in canola meal samples that were collected from 12 different manufacturing plants. Estimated rumen-undegraded protein yielded a range of values, indicating canola meal may vary as much as 25% higher in rumen-undegraded protein among canola processing plants. The average rumen-undegraded protein value for soybean meal was 33%, suggesting that canola meal would be a better protein source for dairy cows than soybean meal (which is the major protein supplement fed in dairy cows diets). A feeding study was conducted with 50 lactating dairy cows to test the relative protein value of canola meal compared to soybean meal. Relative to soybean meal, feeding canola meal increased yield of milk and milk protein. These effects were similar at both lower and higher total protein concentrations in the diet. Overall, replacing soybean meal with canola meal improved production and nitrogen use efficiency. Abstracts from this research were presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Dairy Science Association. Another feeding study has been initiated using 48 lactating dairy cows to evaluate relative protein value of canola meal compared to soybean meal when cows are fed 3 different forage silages (all alfalfa silage, half alfalfa silage and half corn silage, or all corn silage).

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 06/23/2017
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