By Alvaro Garcia and Fernando Diaz

High feed costs and mounting consumer concerns about the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in livestock production provide ample incentive to revisit and refine the use of enzymes in ruminant diets.

Enzymes can improve feed efficiency and reduce the cost of milk production. Feed additives with enzymatic fiber-degrading activity offer a potential to enhance forage digestion, feed efficiency and income over feed costs (IOFC). The application of a blend of cellulase and xylanase enzyme products to forages (corn silage and alfalfa hay) prior to feeding of 55:45 forage to concentrate diets can increase IOFC from $0.32 to $0.88 per cow daily.

When combining data from 20 studies and 41 treatments that added fiber-degrading exogenous enzymes to dairy cow diets, Canadian researchers reported overall increases in dry matter (DM) intake and milk yield of 2.2 ± 2.9 and 2.4 ± 3.3 lbs/day, respectively.

Continue reading this article published in Feed Strategy