NOREL recently organized a pair of technical conferences on ruminant feeding that took place on April 6 at the School of Agronomy, University of Lerida and on April 7 at the School of Agriculture of the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Over 150 people attended.
The topics were current indicators and nutritional tools in the feeding of beef and dairy cattle; in addition, current production parameters were reviewed as were future challenges facing the sector.
Fernando Bacha, technical director of Nacoop-Coopiensos, opened the conference with an overview of the status of the beef industry in Spain and also the different fattening systems. After this general view of the sector he analyzed the main metabolic disorders that can occur and explained how the use of additives can be a tool to solve or prevent these disorders and improve livestock performance.
Next up was Adrian Gonzalez, a consultant in dairy cattle feeding, detailing the challenges of feeding high production dairy cows. Apart from explaining the nutritional parameters used in rations, he emphasised the better profitability of the more productive herds and the key points to ensure that the diet is not the limiting factor for milk production. Adrian then conducted a review of different raw materials and additives that can help us to improve cow performance.
Sergio Calsamiglia, professor at UAB (Autonomous University of Barcelona) gave an overview of the metabolism of different fat sources in ruminants and the relationship between dietary fat and fertility. He explained the danger in feeding dairy cows unprotected sources of unsaturated fat and the mechanisms by which different sources of fat may alter certain hormonal levels directly related to reproductive function.
Finally Jaime Alcañiz, Norel's Ruminant specialist, conducted a review of the oil market (especially palm oil and its derivatives) and noted how the growing demand from emerging countries and the production of biodiesel are affecting their price.
The participants noted and appreciated the high technical level of the speakers and the great practical application of the presentations.
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