Challenges in dairy production: High prices on the feed market – time to act – Part 2

The steadily increasing animal feed prices are also affecting dairy farmers' profitability. In our blog article Part 1, we introduced that it is time to address this issue and look at the different wheels that can be turned to increase feed efficiency due to protein efficiency in ruminants. Further to Part 1 of this hot issue, we will show how phytogenic solutions increase ruminants' protein efficiency. There are different ways to improve the protein metabolism in cows. This is what we also took advantage of and selected precious plant extracts for a well-formulated, tailored solution to enhance the efficacy of metabolized protein in dairy.


Phytogenic solutions to improve cows' protein metabolism

Phytogenic, natural solutions unfold their impact on three levels and in various sections of the digestive tract:

  • Improved rumen function leads to a higher amount of fermentable organic matter, hence raising the efficiency of microbial protein production. This will lead to lower ammonia losses from the rumen via the liver (where it is transformed into urea) into the urine.
  • Reducing the protein degradation in the rumen will increase the level of bypass protein, thus, lowering protein losses in the urine.
  • Ensuring better protein digestibility in the small intestine will reduce protein losses in feces.

Performizer: from plant to performance

Next to increasing metabolized protein yield, performance, and protein efficiency, there is also another way to apply phytogenic solutions. When obtaining the same performance in dairy while reducing the nutrient level, we talk about the performizer concept (figure 2).

Figure 2: Ways of utilization of well formulated phytogenic solutions in diets.

The Performizer Concept


With the performizer concept, the dietary protein level can be reduced by approximately 0.5%, thus lowering feed costs while maintaining the same performance of the animals.

Another possibility is to use this concept with a diet adjustment around the protein balance: in this case, the bypass protein level (less RUP) can be reduced by 0.5-1%, and the degradable protein level can be increased (more RDP). This means a possible replacement of bypass protein sources (e.g., protected soybean meal) with regular protein sources (regular soybean meal) or regular dietary protein meal with non-protein nitrogen sources (urea, vinasses).

Versatile advantages convince

Possible protein reduction respectively replacement (see figure 3) in dairy diet formulations using phytogenic feed additives does not only lead to a reduction of feed costs. It also has a positive impact on the environment as increased protein efficiency means reduced protein waste on all levels.

Moreover, the performizer application opens a new flexibility and independency in terms of raw materials. This means e.g., using secondary raw materials, by products, non-protected or non-protein raw materials. and having the possibility of drawing on regional resources.

Figure 3:Performance improvement in dairy cows using the performizer concept.

Chose the safe way in uncertain times

Feed efficiency and cost management are major tools in dairy production, especially in current times, where farmers are facing constant changes in feed prices. The Performizer application of our phytogenic solutions is an excellent and safe way to reduce feed costs – for the sake of your dairy cows and your profitability.


Find out more about phytogenics in ruminants' diet.

Thierry Aubert

Thierry Aubert

Thierry Aubert can look back on 15 years of experience in the premix, feed and meat industry. Since the beginning of his career, Thierry is in regular exchange with the farmers to understand their challenges and needs. In 2013 he joined Delacon as Species Leader Ruminants. With his team, he is in charge of the global product development for the ruminant species and customer technical support. Since spring 2018, his task areas have been extended: At the moment, he is also responsible for the coordination of the Reginal Technical Managers worldwide. In his leisure time, he likes to go running and already participated in several marathons.

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