Article| Volume 80, ISSUE 8, P1713-1721, August 1997

Adequacy of Amino Acids in Diets Fed to Lactating Dairy Cows

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      The Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System was used to evaluate absorbable limiting amino acids (AA) for milk yield. The system was utilized to characterize whether diets in five previous experiments met AA requirements for milk protein synthesis. Twenty-nine treatment means for milk yield from 367 cows constituted the database for the evaluation. Using the mechanistic relationships of nutrient metabolism described in the Cornell system, absorbed amounts were predicted of each essential AA from a diet and milk yields allowed by the most limiting AA. Regression of observed milk yield (Y) on predicted milk yield (X) using all treatment means (n = 29) was Y = 2.3 + 0.799X (r2 = 0.72). The linear relationship was stronger using 6 treatment means (n = 18) when protein supplements were fed rather than when ruminally protected AA were fed or when AA were postruminally infused (Y = –1.8 + 0.983X; r2 = 0.93). The Cornell system predicted that, for diets based on corn, Met or Lys was limiting when soybean meal was the protein source, but Lys was limiting when corn gluten meal or brewers grains were the source of protein. By AA limitation, the Cornell system explained differences in milk yield for diets that differed in supplemental protein sources in some of the experiments. As determined from milk protein yields in these studies, requirements for individual essential AA were expressed as a percentage of dietary dry matter or total essential AA, and values were relatively constant among dietary treatments and experiments.

      Key words

      Abbreviation Key:

      CGM (corn gluten meal), DBG (dried brewers grains), SBM (soybean meal), WBG (wet brewers grains)


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