Pioneer® Brand Nutrivail® Feed Technologies Can Reduce Supplemental Protein and Energy Needs
The portfolio of Pioneer® brand Nutrivail® feed technology products — 11CFT (corn silage), 11AFT (alfalfa silage) and 11GFT (grass silage) — helps producers tackle the challenges of fermentation by rapidly lowering pH and inhibiting yeast growth to prolong silage bunklife. In addition, these products contain bacterial strains that produce enzymes while growing in the silage, enhancing fiber digestibility and enabling the use of higher levels of forage in the ration.
“The proprietary enzyme-producing Lactobacillus buchneri strain found in these products decouples lignin from cellulose and hemicellulose,” reports Bill Mahanna, PhD, DuPont Pioneer global nutritional sciences manager. “Lignin interferes with the rumen microbes gaining access to cellulose and hemicellulose and makes it difficult for the animal to rapidly digest these fiber sources. Specific enzymes produced by Pioneer Nutrivail feed technologies 11CFT, 11AFT or 11GFT — ferulate and acetyl esterases — break the ester bonds between lignin and other cell-wall components, revealing more surface area for rumen microbes to digest dietary fiber.”
From a producer’s economic perspective, it is much cheaper to produce these enzymes with bacteria that are adapted to the silage environment than to use the costly process of growing organisms in a production facility, isolating the desired enzymes, stabilizing them, and then packaging and delivering them to the farm.
The result of more rapidly digested fiber is twofold: 1) More energy is obtained from the fiber in the limited time it remains in the rumen of high-producing animals; and 2) Rumen microbes can multiply in numbers much faster than normal, resulting in more microbial protein available for the cow to digest when these microbes flow to the intestines.
“If we provide enough energy and soluble nitrogen,” Mahanna explains, “rumen microbes proliferate faster and digest more of the available nutrients. When we feed these ‘rumen bugs,’ they feed the ‘cow.’
“When conditions are right in the rumen, we can utilize more rapidly available energy from the feed while producing more high-quality protein from the rumen microbes,” Mahanna says.
Studies indicate rumen microbes contain about 45% protein, all of which passes from the rumen farther into the small intestinal digestive tract. Producers may be able to decrease the level of protein supplements in the ration, saving money. It’s possible an operation can save on supplemental energy as well as protein sources, which is particularly beneficial when prices of supplements such as soybean meal are extremely high.
More rapid fiber digestion, along with generating more microbial protein, are the dietary outcomes of Nutrivail feed technology products. The fermentation and bunk life benefits at the storage structure are icing on the cake.
Mahanna cites an example with Pioneer Nutrivail feed technology 11CFT and corn silage: If the inclusion level of corn silage in a high-cow ration is 60 lbs. as fed (21 lbs. DM), the typical increases in rate of fiber digestion and the extra microbial protein production obtained when the corn silage is treated with Pioneer Nutrivail feed technology 11CFT allow a nutritionist to back out about 1 lb. of soybean meal/cow/day. If the cost of this meal is 18¢/pound ($375/ton), that's a savings of 18¢ on protein meal alone.
“If the cost of Pioneer Nutrivail feed technology 11CFT is 8-9¢/cow/day, we've doubled our return without adding the value of possible savings in energy costs, not to mention the fermentation and bunklife shrink savings,” Mahanna notes. “Plus, if you're already using an inoculant such as Pioneer® inoculant 11C33, the incremental cost of moving to Pioneer Nutrivail feed technology 11CFT is only about 3-4¢/cow/day.”