Cargill’s animal nutrition business today shared new data proving the effectiveness of its customized feeding solutions that help customers manage heat-stressed cows during heat waves. With summer in full swing in the northern hemisphere, heat stress generally begins to affect a cow’s performance when the Temperature Humidity Index (THI) reaches 68, and can significantly reduce their appetite, fertility and milk production levels.
“Our proprietary feeding solutions, called I.C.E.™ and Cooling Pack™, which are tailored to meet customers’ specific needs and the environment in which they operate, help protect cows from heat stress effects at the cellular level,” said Ercole Zerbini, Cargill’s global ruminant technology director. “Adding key nutritional ingredients such as an osmolyte can help cows stay hydrated, avoid dramatic increases in overall body temperature, recover faster after high heat and humidity, and improve pregnancy and fertility rates.”
Recent trials prove effectiveness
- Commercial farm trials in Texas, U.S., demonstrated an increase in conception rates of 7.1 percent in multiparous cows (cows that have had more than one calf) and 8.1 percent in primiparous cows (cows that are calving for the first time).
- A trial in Brazil indicated a 13 percent increase in fertility rates.
- Another study in Brazil showed better protection against the depression in milk fat concentration often seen when cows are exposed to heat.
- Heat stress is known to bring increased risk of ruminal acidosis. Work at the Cargill Innovation Center in Velddriel, The Netherlands demonstrated improved maintenance of rumen pH.
“A customer in the U.S. was able to maintain 70 pounds (32 kilograms) of milk with 4.6-to-4.7 percent butterfat and 3.6 percent protein through the whole summer,” says Noah Hughes, Cargill sales consultant. “Previously, milk production at this dairy farm would drop to 60 pounds (27 kilograms) per day in the peak summer heat.”
Cargill’s heat stress feeding solutions, marketed under I.C.E.™ and Cooling Pack™, are now available in the U.S., Brazil, France, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Canada and Peru. For optimal results, Cargill and Provimi brand nutritionists recommend implementing this technology before a heat wave begins. Contact your local sales representative to learn more about which heat stress solution would best suite your needs.