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Economic Implications of Binders on Dairy Diets

DON Average April 1 - Sept 30 2023

Production dairy diets are formulated to optimize nutrients and costs to achieve the desired milk production, health and reproductive goals. Recent ingredient and TMR analyses across wide regions of the United States have shown a high prevalence of mycotoxins. Dairy nutritionists and producers frequently utilize common clay- and yeast cell wall-type binders (MTB) in an attempt to control the negative health and economic consequences of mycotoxins. Research suggests that common MTB bind expensive nutrients and may reduce their availability to be absorbed by the cow (Kihal et al., 2020).

The Kihal et al. (2020) researchers utilized an in vitro post ruminal digestion model to evaluate the adsorption of amino acids (AA) and water-soluble vitamins (WSV) by a range of common MTB. Incubating Lysine, Methionine and Threonine together resulted in an adsorption index of 19.9% averaged across all MTB. A strong interaction existed for MTB and WSV, with an average adsorption index of 46.1% when the WSV were jointly incubated.

Applying the Kihal et al. (2020) data to an economic model can reveal the preliminary costs of reduced nutrient availability due to traditional MTB. Typically, the MTB caused an economic loss in nutrient availability twice the value of the estimated binder purchase price.

The economic loss due to binder usage and reduced nutrient availability will vary with prices incurred by your clients. If you would like to review the economic calculator and discuss other mycotoxin management solutions contact Agrarian Solutions Vice President of Nutrition, Larry Roth, Ph.D., PAS. Email: Phone: 612-418-8684.

Image at top: Mycotoxin summary results for April 1 - September 30, 2023 reflect a combination of preserved 2022 feed and newly harvested 2023 corn silage. The states of Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania reported elevated DON, zearalenone and fumonisin levels for an unfortunate trifecta.