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Milking healthy cows with quick grass ensilages; prevent rumen acidosis!

wed, 25 nov 2015
Last season’s grass ensilages on average have high VEM levels and digestibility is good to excellent. Cows will have little trouble with a relatively large intake of this grass. This offers opportunities of retrieving high quantities of milk from roughage. The flipside of excellent digestibility, however, is that the silos do not bring stability in the rations. This leads to an increased risk of rumen acidosis.

Rumen acidosis is a cause of high stress at animal level. This leads to lower milk production (short term) and other health problems such as laminatis (long term).

Preventing rumen acidosis

The optimal rumen pH is very close to 6. This is positive, both for cellular wall breakdown (for milk fat production) and production of propionic acid (for lactose production and kg of milk). Use of a rumen buffer can be a good solution for keeping the rumen pH stable when giving an acidifying ration. A balanced rumen buffer not only has a large buffer capacity, but also a long-lasting action so that the effect of acid formation a few hours after feeding can be countered. Sodium bicarbonate is a buffer, but only very quickly after feed intake. This tends to increase the rumen pH rather than stabilising it. This is why Nuscience is introducing a new version of Mervit BUFFER+, a top dressing with a large buffer capacity and long-lasting effect. The application of the various buffering components ensures buffering both immediately after feed intake and some hours afterwards. Mervit BUFFER+ also consist live yeast. This helps limit the concentration of lactic acid in the rumen, making the rumen environment healthier. Finally, Mervit BUFFER+ includes natural anti-oxidants. This gives the cow extra protection against the stress arising from rumen acidosis.

For more information relating to the risks of rumen acidosis and Mervit BUFFER+, please contact your account manager or send an email to