[Dublin, Ireland] – Over 200 delegates recently attended the fifth annual Dairy Solutions Symposium, which took place at the Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands. The symposium was a joint partnership between animal health and nutrition company Alltech, Utrecht University, Wageningen University and Wageningen UR Livestock Research.
Themed Rumen Health: A 360º Analysis, 13 experts presented their research in the area of rumen health to an audience of dairy scientists, veterinarians and other specialists representing some of the dairy world’s most distinguished and influential thought leaders.
Welcoming delegates to the symposium, Professor Wouter Hendriks of Wageningen and Utrecht University said that “The rumen is of critical importance for efficient transformation of dietary nutrients into dairy products for human consumption. As such, it can be a major cause of economic losses in the dairy industry and is important in maintaining the health and welfare of the animal.”
Alltech’s Dr. Juan Tricarico highlighted the evolution of yeast technologies over the past 30 years and how these have developed to target specific areas of rumen development such as; increasing microbial protein; stabilizing rumen pH; generating more energy and; increasing nutrient intake.
The panel of speakers were invited from a variety of diverse dairy-related backgrounds, from veterinary scientists to nutritionists and top academic researchers. Their varied and in-depth analyses of subjects pivoting around rumen health provided delegates with unique perspectives, proposals and solutions.
One of the key perspectives shared by speakers however, related to the topic of sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA) as researched during studies of rumen health in both fresh cows and cows at peak lactation. Speakers concurred that much remains to be discovered about the disorder and that important questions about the condition require further research before its occurrence can be explained.
Another topic that provoked great interest was the exploration of Penicillium contamination in the rumen and the similarity of this condition to SARA. The close resemblance shared by each condition highlighted how important ongoing research is in combating such problems.
Building on the strength of Dairy Solutions Symposium as a forum for open discussion, delegates were regularly provided with real solutions to some of the key subjects explored. From farm managers to feed-industry nutritionists and veterinary practitioners, attendees were provided with practical information that they could take home and put to use in improving the rumen health of their respective dairy enterprises.