CUT CP COSTS, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Many dairy herds have the potential
to lower ration crude protein (CP) levels by
at least 0.5 to 1.0 unit without impacting
herd milk production, according to Larry
Chase, Professor and Extension Specialist,
Department of Animal Science, Cornell
University. Signiﬁ cant economic and
environmental impacts can accompany these
changes. Dairy producers are realizing two
incentives for lowering ration CP levels.
One is to improve proﬁ tability by more
efﬁ ciently converting feed nitrogen intake
to milk nitrogen output while maintaining or
improving milk production. Income over feed
cost (IOFC) increases along with income over
purchased feed costs (IOPFC) as purchased
feed costs decrease.
Secondly, feeding rations with lower CP
decreases the excretion of nitrogen into the
environment and lowers ammonia emissions.
Consequently, the number of acres needed
for land application of manure decreases.
When ammonia emission regulations are
implemented, the lower animal ammonia
emissions will be beneﬁ cial.
When determining if a herd is a candidate
for lower ration crude protein levels, consider:
1) Is the current ration CP level greater
than 16.5% ?
2) Are herd milk urea nitrogen levels
greater than 12 mg/dl?
3) How consistent are the daily feeding and
feeding management procedures?
4) How consistent are forages and are
forage dry matter analysis done at least 2-3
times per week?
5) Do the nutritionist and dairy producer
both believe this approach will work?
6) How will the potential responses to
adjustments in ration crude protein levels be
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www.dairybusiness.com June 2012 EASTERNDAIRYBUSINESS