Improving the protein efficiency of grass for cows and pigs
An Irish project is looking at isolating two types of protein from fresh grass, for use in both cow diets but also in pig rations as well.
In May, we spoke to the coordinator of that project, James Gaffey, IT Tralee researcher.
“We are trying to improve the protein efficiency of grass, separating out some of the soluble protein into a fraction that can be used as a pig feed; it has a relatively similar amino acid composition to dehulled soybeans.
“We also separate out some of the protein into a fiber fraction - that is primarily insoluble resistant protein, which can be used by the cow at a higher nitrogen to milk efficiency, compared to unprocessed silage. While you might expect that milk production levels would go down due to the cows receiving less protein intake, studies from Denmark and Netherlands show that is not the case. Protein conversion to milk is actually improved; you get similar milk yield and quality when compared to silage but one of the benefits is you end up with less nitrogen and phosphorus in the cattle excrement."
Cattle and pig trials will be carried out as part of the project.
“University College Dublin will be carrying out cattle feed trials at the end of the year. Barryroe Cooperative will also be involved in some of the compounding required and they will also be supporting the pig trials.”