As an adjunct to the August meeting, 10 participants spent the morning visiting Alltech’s in vitro fermentation lab in Henderson and discussing how nutritionists and farmers could use the data that this lab provides. The analysis is based on gas production, by rumen fluid incubated samples, over time giving data on the rate of digestion of slow and fast pools. Combined with in vitro fermentation, they also do proximate analysis. A lab report is presented with several pages including interpretation and some suggestions on how diet could be improved. We discussed how nutritionists can benefit from such data and learned that it can help to fine-tune rations. Nigel Meads also explained its future potential of giving information on rumen methane production.
In overseas farms rate information on feeds or TMR is now used in ration balancing programs, e.g. CNCPS. There are less farms with such sophisticated ration balancing in NZ yet, but this tool offers future potential when used well by knowledgable nutritionists.
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