What is Alltech IFM™?
Alltech IFM is an in-vitro fermentation model for beef cattle and dairy cow rations that simulates rumen fermentation and allows producers to receive a customized report assessing a ration’s digestibility and potential for optimal rumen function. Alltech IFM is a nutritional tool used by farmers and feed manufacturers to screen individual ingredients, formulate rations and make informed decisions on the quality of feed or total mixed rations (TMR).
Why use it?
By using Alltech IFM, we can identify barriers to rumen fermentation, formulate rations based on nutrient availability and help to reduce energy losses and feed wastage.
Nutritionists rely on nutritional models and chemical feed characteristics to formulate diets. However, this information is static and does not provide a complete evaluation of nutrient availability. Alltech IFM is a dynamic diagnostic tool that measures the digestion of feed in the rumen in real time. This allows us to get a comprehensive view of feed digestion as opposed to a snapshot from a single point in time.
How does it work?
Feed samples are incubated using rumen fluid and a buffer system to mimic natural rumen fermentation in the animal. Feed samples can include concentrates, fresh forages, silages or total mixed rations (TMRs). As digestion progresses, volumes of fermentation gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide, are continuously monitored using an automated system.
- Alltech IFM measures gas production, taking into account all nutrients fermented (solubles and insolubles). Total gas production is separated into fast-fermenting carbohydrates (e.g., starches and sugars) and slowly-fermenting carbohydrates (e.g., fibres) using mathematical equations.
- Estimates of rates of degradation of the different carbohydrate fractions provide additional information on the nutritive value of the feed.
- Measurement of fermentation by-products includes:
- Yield of microbial biomass (i.e., source of metabolizable protein to the animal).
- Volatile fatty acid profile (i.e., source of energy to the animal).
- Total gas production.
- In vitro dry matter digestibility.
Combined with a measurement of digestibility provided by Alltech IFM, we can calculate the amount of energy lost as methane and methane emissions per animal.
Verified by the Carbon Trust, Alltech IFM is an effective tool for predicting farm- and feed-specific enteric methane emissions.
How Alltech IFM can be used:
- Nutritional tool to optimize ruminal function, ruminal starch availability and fiber digestion in the rumen, and protein balance.
- Troubleshoot potential problems and develop supplementation strategies to optimize feed efficiency and profitability, which are tailored to your feeding programs.
- Improve efficiency and reduce carbon footprint: Estimates of gas production can help identify total mixed rations that are less efficient and that produce excessive gas per unit of dry matter digested.
Alltech IFM locations
Submitting a sample
For information on how you can submit a sample to one of our Alltech IFM labs, please contact your local Alltech office.