Yea-Sacc: good for your herd, your pocket and the environment
Reflecting on the challenges we have faced over the last year, it cannot be emphasised enough how important farmers are in the food supply chain. COVID-19 has highlighted the need for such resilient food systems. Feed production capacity directly correlates to the amount of food available for human consumption and general food security. Alltech’s experience across 128 countries finds that sustainable and efficient feed supply chains are relevant to small-scale livestock production all the way up to some of the world’s largest integrators. A growing challenge for the feed industry is competition with humans for similar feed sources. This challenges us as an industry with ways whereby we improve the utilisation of feeds fed on-farm or, ultimately, the often-quoted words, ‘increase feed efficiency.’
I want to talk about increased feed efficiency in how it can have real benefits for farmers. With the increase in feed costs this year, making more use of that same feed has never been more crucial and can have real financial benefits while improving your farm’s sustainability. Alltech has pioneered some of the most extensive work in this area over the last 40 years. With over 230 completed studies looking at the effects of Yea-Sacc on rumen health and efficiency, we have been able to understand more about how Yea-Sacc works and its reliability as a solution for your farm in terms of increased feed efficiency, profitability and sustainability.
It is commonly known that rumen health plays an important role in the digestion and utilisation of feeds. If rumen health is compromised, fewer nutrients will be absorbed from the diet, and more of it, in essence, is wasted. Poor rumen health can be attributed to low rumen pH. A rumen pH above 6 is optimum, and as it drops below this level, the efficiency with which the bacteria work at digesting feed slows. As a result, that rumen also becomes less efficient. Another result of reduced pH is damage to the rumen lining. This lining has both protective and absorptive functions. The cumulative result of low rumen pH and poor rumen health is ultimately less performance from your diet.
Yea-Sacc® works by metabolising excess oxygen entering the rumen and helps to create an anaerobic environment, allowing beneficial bacteria to multiply and colonise feed particles efficiently and without competition. This often results in improved feed conversion efficiency (FCE). The magnitude of response varies, but Yea-Sacc, for example, consistently demonstrates improvements of around 6%. In other words, the amount of performance, be it extra weight gain, milk production or body condition, derived from your feed has been increased, all through better rumen health and efficiency. In particular, if we look at performance, independent research repeatedly verifies the benefits of Yea-Sacc in beef and dairy diets.
Looking at beef through several independent studies with Teagasc Research Centre, Grange and Harper Adams, Yea-Sacc has been proven to consistently increase average daily gains by at least 11%.
Likewise, several studies carried out across Europe and through UCD Lyons Estate highlight an average increase in milk production of 1.6 litres per cow per day. Again, all of this was achieved by gaining extra performance from the same diet that was offered to the dairy cows with the inclusion of Yea-Sacc. This highlights the benefits of Yea-Sacc improving efficiency, translating to extra animal performance, which also makes your farm more sustainable.
Sustainability does not have to come at a cost
Lowering the environmental impact of our farms does not necessarily mean reducing output or potential profits. Alltech has first-hand experience of how sustainable solutions like Yea-Sacc have become the non-negotiable in animal nutrition. Profitable farming is at the top of this agenda. With animal feed typically representing the most significant variable cost in beef and milk production, making the most use of this feed by increasing the amount of meat and milk possible with the inclusion of Yea-Sacc, we can also ensure we minimise feed waste. Yea-Sacc, in this sense, is an important environmentally beneficial solution with no adverse effects on animal performance. Otherwise, we would need more cows to produce the same amount of milk. Alltech’s tried and trusted approach with the use of Yea-Sacc improving feed efficiency and leading to increased meat and milk production is, therefore, not only good for your herd and your farm’s profitability but also for the environment, reducing the emissions per kilo of output.
Considering sustainability efforts need to make both environmental and economic sense, it is now time to recognise the unique contribution you can make with the use of Yea-Sacc on your farm and how it serves to increase animal performance while lowering the environmental impact of beef and dairy products.