The quality of a feedstuff is not only defined by the various nutrient contents, or by its composition in terms of raw materials, or its digestibility or its palatability, nor even by its appearance or sensory characteristics, but also by its hygienic status. This article presents a way of assessing the microbiological quality of feedstuff, as well as the history of how it became established in Europe, in particular in German-speaking countries. It describes the method used and the populations of micro-organisms present in the evolution of a feedstuff, from harvest to storage. Indicator micro-organisms act as a reference point in this assessment and orientation values were established for these indicator micro-organisms in the feedstuffs and raw materials which are used most. The article presents the results of a joint project initiated by the German Agricultural Analytic and Research Institutes (LUFA) with partners in several European countries including Switzerland.
Pontiggia A., Münger A., Ammer S., Philipona C., Bruckmaier R. M., Keil N.M., Dohme-Meier F.
Even in temperate climate zones, an increase in the ambient temperature and solar radiation can cause heat stress in grazing dairy cows. Agroscope studied the physiological changes in cows caused by increasing heat load.
Lazzari G., Münger A., Heimo D., Seifert S., Camarinha-Silva A., Borda-Molina D., Zähner M., Schrade S., Kreuzer M., Dohme-Meier F.
In dairy cows, herbage-based diets often lead to increased nitrogen excretion. Tanniferous sainfoin and extract of acacia can reduce nitrogen excretion from urine and thus ammonia volatilization from slurry.
Excessive nitrogen inputs from the air lead to over-fertilisation of sensitive ecosystems. Continuous feeding optimisation can make an important contribution to reducing ammonia losses and thus nitrogen inputs.