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Milk Constituents at Grass

The management and nutrition play an important role in how milk protein and fat are influenced, it is key to take these into consideration to optimise payments from milk contracts. Seasonality and genetics are big factors, where jersey breeds typically have higher butterfat and protein levels compared to the Holstein. Nutritionally, fibre and rumen health is key for milk fat production, whilst glucogenic nutrients are important for protein production.

  • Fibre and rumen health is key for milk fat production whilst glucogenic nutrients are important for protein production.
  • To improve milk constituents:

Diets at grass and buffers

  • Buffer feeding forages and moist feeds can help overcome grass shortages when the cover drops due to a problem such as a drought, or if quality drops due to seasonal performance.
  • Buffer feeding can help ‘space out’ grazing and manage a restricted amount of grass, an example being shutting some pasture up for silage. If grazing supplies are adequate, there may be little need for buffer feeding forages.
  • Buffer feeding timing is critical to ensure optimal grass intake.
  • Buffer feeding is a recognised practise for high yielding cows; unable to meet maintenance and yield requirements from grazed grass alone. Supplement feeding concentrates helps by increasing the nutrient density of the grazed grass diets to sustain higher levels of milk output.

Key considerations for grazing diets:

  • Low protein
  • Fibre (soya hulls, SBP)
  • Low RUFAL
  • Bypass fat
  • Yeast and Buffers
  • Essential oils (increase butterfats, reduce excess N)

NWF Ultra Buf

NWF Ultra Buf is a blend of buffering salts including Acid Buf and NWF Opti Rumen.

Acid Buf conditions the rumen and allows it to work more efficiently, with its unique honeycombed structure and large surface area. Acid Buf breaks down slowly in the rumen- neutralising significantly more acid, over a longer period.

NWF Opti Rumen increases the amount of bypass protein reaching the small intestine whilst improving nitrogen efficiency in the rumen, shown by a decrease in ammonia release. These factors can lead to lower milk ureas and increased feed efficiency.

  • Improves rumen pH
  • Increases milk yield and improved milk quality
  • Increases fibre digestion
  • Increases feed efficiency

NWF Opti Rumen

NWF Opti Rumen is a blend of essential oils and spices which aim to optimise rumen performance.
It is an important additive for:

  • Balancing excess rumen fermentable protein
  • Buffering the rumen
  • Increasing butterfats and milk proteins

The Essential Oils

  • Have a strong antimicrobial effect against gram-positive and negative bacteria
  • Change rumen bacterial populations
  • Improve utilisation of nutrients – they stimulate starch, fibre and protein-digesting bacteria.


  • Improve digestion through a buffering effect.

Opti Rumen can improve nitrogen efficiency in the rumen, which can help reduce milk and blood urea levels by mopping up free nitrogen in the rumen whilst increasing levels of bypass protein contributing to decreased milk urea levels.

*Trials have shown ammonia production in the rumen decreased by 18% in a fibre-based diet and 27% in a starch-based diet. For more information, please contact your local NWF Sales Specialist or the Technical Team* 

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