Further research being carried out across the University
Presenting innovative research at the Nordic Feed Science Conference
Professor Toby Mottram, Douglas Bomford Trust Chair in Applied Farm Mechanisation and Management at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) presented an invited paper at the Nordic Feed Science Conference 2016, held by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences earlier this month (14 and 15 June).
Professor Mottram focused on the question, ‘Is monitoring rumen pH a routine tool or a seasonal adjustment to new forage quality?’ He began with an introduction to rumen pH boluses and how it works, before explaining what has been learnt: it can monitor rumen, SARA can be detected and corrected, and rumen pH is not correlated to milk yield. Professor Mottram then touched upon the limitations, before delving into the data.
During his presentation, he discussed the following statements.
- Rumen pH is not as expected from research: on research farms, rumen pH reveals repeatable patterns, yet on real farms the daily patterns are different. This can be attributed to fewer constraints on animals, or potentially chaotic management routines.
- Mean pH is not correlated to mean milk yield
- Daily patterns and values of pH are dominated by systems, routines and seasons: cows need order to be able to self-regulate their pH
To conclude, Professor Mottram states that rumen telemetry can be used as a valuable diagnostic tool, as well as a reliable source of objective data about the cow’s routine.
The Nordic Feed Science Conference brings scientists from the Nordic countries together, to engage in feed related research on ruminants, as well as advisory services and the industry. The aim is to strengthen the Nordic cooperation and encourage the exchange of ideas.
To find out more, contact Toby.Mottram@rau.ac.uk