This trial tested whether rumen-protected Lys (RPL) supplementation would improve the nutritive value of rumen-undegradable protein (RUP) from corn protein. Thirty-two lactating Holstein cows were blocked by days in milk and parity into 8 squares of 4 cows each in replicated 4 × 4 Latin squares. Treatments provided all supplemental crude protein from: (1) soy protein (67% expeller soybean meal plus 33% solvent soybean meal); (2) a blend of soy and corn protein (33% expeller soybean meal, 17% solvent soybean meal, 25% corn gluten meal plus 25% distillers dried grains with solubles); (3) corn protein (50% corn gluten meal plus 50% distillers dried grains with solubles); or (4) corn protein plus RPL [diet 3 top-dressed with RPL (125 g/d of AjiPro-L Generation 1, supplying an estimated 20 g of absorbable Lys/d)]. Diets contained (dry matter basis) 22% alfalfa silage, 43% corn silage, 18% ground high-moisture and dry corn, 2.4% mineral-vitamin premix, 1.5 to 3.9% soy hulls, 15% crude protein, 30 to 32% neutral detergent fiber and predicted to contain equal rumen-degradable protein, RUP, and metabolizable protein. Cows within squares were randomly assigned to treatment sequences and fed diets for 4-wk periods before switching; production data and blood samples were collected during last 2 wk of each period. Data were analyzed using the mixed procedures of SAS. Intake was highest on diet 1, intermediate on diets 2 and 3, and lowest on diet 4; body weight gain was highest on diet 3, intermediate on diets 1 and 2 and lowest on diet 4. Intakes and body weight changes were reflected by differences in milk/dry matter intake, which was highest on diets 2 and 4 and lowest on diet 3. Milk yield was lower on diet 3 (44.3 kg/d) than on diets 1, 2, and 4 (average 45.8 kg/d) and protein yield was highest on diets 1 and 2 (average 1.35 kg/d), intermediate on diet 4 (1.30 kg/d), and lowest on diet 3 (1.25 kg/d). No effects of diet were detected on ruminal metabolites. Free nonessential amino acids and total protein AA were elevated in blood plasma on diet 3, reflecting reduced utilization for milk protein synthesis. These results indicated that 50% dilution of soybean meal RUP with that from corn protein did not reduce yield and that supplementing RPL to the corn protein-based diet increased yield 1.1 kg of milk/d and 50 g of true protein/d.
J Dairy Sci (Journal of dairy science)
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