Feeding trials from Wisconsin dairies showed that cows produced more litres of milk per day with canola meal in their feed rations.
On-farm trials carried out at two dairies by the Canola Council of Canada and GPS Dairy Consulting, a group of independent dairy nutritionists, replaced animal protein and high-bypass soybean meal with canola meal and rumen-protected lysine.
The cows were monitored for four months — two months on a control diet and two months on the trial diet.
One dairy involved in the study milked 2,100 cows with an average of 45 kilograms of milk per cow per day. The other dairy milked 700 cows and also averaged 45 kg of milk per cow per day.
Following the trial, both dairies reported their yield weight of milk, fat and protein increased, including an increase of almost two litres per cow per day on the larger farm and an increase of 3.5 litres on the smaller farm.
The study also noted the trial ration was about the same in price or less expensive than the control diet.
“Canola contributes to cost-efficient production. We no longer have to source and store expeller soybean meal,” Gordon Speirs, manager of Shiloh Dairy, the larger dairy involved in the trial, said in a news release.