• Evaluation and Refinement of the French Protein System (PDI) under Irish Conditions

      Murphy, J.J.; Bohane, D.C.; Fitzgerald, J.J.; Kavanagh, S.; O'Mara, Frank P. (Teagasc, 2004-01-01)
      The CP and DM degradability of grazed grass (between April and October, inclusive) and grass silage samples (differing in cut number and treatment) was determined using the in situ technique and the results obtained were used to calculate the PDIE and PDIN values. The degradability data on 12 concentrate ingredients from a previous study (Woods, 2000) were used to estimate PDIE and PDIN values for these feedstuffs. The mean PDIE and PDIN values determined for grass were 81 g/kg and 127 g/kg DM, respectively and for grass silage were 60 g/kg and 94 g/kg DM. Regression analysis resulted in equations to predict the PDIN of samples of grazed grass (PDIN = 3.8 + 0.628 CP) (R²= 0.999) and grass silage (PDIN = 5.9 + 0.605 CP) (R²= 0.997), and the PDIE of grazed grass (PDIE = 181.4 - 0.104 NDF - 0.195 ash - 0.047 OMD) (R²= 0.987) and grass silage (PDIE = 27.7 + 0.083 DMD - 0.147 CP) (R²= 0.812). The PDIE and PDIN values of 11 of the 12 concentrate ingredients were similar to those used in the French Tables but the maize distillers’ grains in this study and those used in France would appear to be quite different products. The response to PDIE and PDIN in the diet of lactating cows was evaluated and the effect of better balancing the PDIE and PDIN supply on the efficiency of N utilisation was assessed. Twenty autumn calving cows were blocked in a complete Latin Square design and assigned to four different diets varying in PDIN and PDIE content. Each of the four treatments consisted of a concentrate, maize silage and grass silage in the proportions 37:38:25 on a DM basis. There were 4 periods of 4-week duration each. Diet A contained 92 g/kg DM of PDIE and 116 g/kg DM of PDIN. Diet B contained 103 g/kg DM of PDIE and 122 g/kg DM of PDIN. Diet C and D over supplied PDIN at 137 g/kg and 153 g/kg, respectively relative to PDIE at 111 g/kg DM. Dry matter intake increased significantly with the excess dietary PDIN relative to PDIE but there were no significant differences in milk yield and composition. Decreasing the supply of PDIE in the diet (i.e. diet A vs. B) resulted in no significant effect on milk or constituent yields but did significantly reduce the efficiency (kg milk / kg DMI) of milk production. There was also a significant reduction in the efficiency of milk produced per kg DMI with increasing dietary concentrations of PDIN and increasing PDIN: PDIE balance (B>C>D). Increasing the dietary PDIN from 122 to 153 g/kg DMI increased urine N (+54%), faecal N (+11%) and plasma urea concentrations (+75%). The results indicate that the optimum concentration of dietary PDI is approximately 103 g/kg DM for cows producing about 35 kg of milk per day. A better balance between PDIE and PDIN supply improves the efficiency of conversion of DM to milk and dietary protein.