Value of Milk Protein

Dec 02, 2019

Are you paying attention to the value of milk protein on your milk check and the percent milk protein in your bulk tank?  Milk protein has taken a substantial jump in value, currently paying at $3.17 per pound for October 2019.  Over the last few months, protein has increased by over $1.16 per pound.  What does this mean? In June 2019 milk protein was worth $2.01 per pound.  A cow giving 90lbs of milk in June with a 3.1% protein test would have contributed $5.61 in protein value to her share of the milk check.  In October of 2019, the same cow averaging the same milk and protein test would be contributing $8.84 to her share of the milk check.  That’s $3.23 more per cow than 5 months ago.  For every 100 cows that’s $323 more per day or $9,851.50  for the month.   
Of course, the value per pound of milk protein is out of any of our control (other than to keep eating real cheese, yogurt, protein bars and protein shakes). We can help influence the milk protein yield within the cow in many cases by increasing the protein test or maintaining the test and increasing milk.   Bottom line, milk protein is worth major dollars in income, and it merits taking some time to discuss with one of our Premier Cooperative nutritionists.   This all sounds simple and, in some cases, raising milk protein can be accomplished with minor nutrient changes within the existing diet by manipulating the amounts of Lysine, Methionine and energy fed. There are several alternatives to AA supplementation and in order to truly balance or “model” and provide enough grams of Amino Acids to induce a positive, measurable response to milk protein is to use a synthetic Protected Bypass Methionine source and a Protected Bypass Lysine source.  A positive response cannot be induced by simply supplementing plant or animal-based proteins.   
There should be a bit of caution to just jumping in and adding Methionine or Lysine supplementation and attempting to positively influence milk protein yield.   Overall feed management and cow comfort comes first, and as with any nutrition change without either of these the results will vary.   In addition, energy is the most limiting nutrient in many of the diets being fed today.  The forages fraction may be poorly digestible, too much fiber is in the diet, or starch is limiting.  If you are not meeting the energy requirement, it is likely that energy will be the bottleneck to production and the cows will not respond to AA supplementation because that is not the most limiting nutrient.   Working closely with one of the nutritionists at Premier Cooperative can help achieve success when supplementing for AA’s and trying to increase the amount of milk protein yield within your herd. 

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