Understanding Sweetpro's Approach to Protein

Usable Protein -vs- Available Protein

Protein is critical for all stages of cattle production including breeding, lactation, fetal programming, growing, and finishing. Cattle are excellent protein converters and are able to produce 10 times more protein than they take in. Microbial protein is the best form of protein that there is for a cow so everything that SweetPro is and does focuses on feeding the microbial protein and providing the right environment for them to thrive.

Sources and influencers of protein in SweetPro:

  1. Protein in SweetPro: All of the SweetPro blocks contain natural protein as listed on the label and varies in hardness/bitterness to regulate intake. One can figure ½ again the natural protein (rumen degradable protein) value to calculate the rumen bypass protein that is provided. So a SweetPro 16 is all natural protein, therefore there is an additional 8% protein that is rumen bypass protein (absorbed directly by the cow and excellent for milk production and frame & muscle development) resulting in the product performing like a 24% protein. The SweetPro blocks that contain NPN have Biuret and Ammonium Sulfate (no Urea) which are slow release and better for protein production over time.
  2. Amino Acid Profile: Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and there are number of essential amino acids. Think of this as a staved bucket with a short stave. Regardless of how much water you pour into the bucket, it will never fill up past the “limiting stave” (Law of the Minimum). The same thing holds true in protein production. Regardless of how much protein is available, the cow will not be able to utilize more than is limited by the limiting amino acid. Each of the fermented grain sources (corn from the DDGS & CDS, wheat, oats, barley, flax in the ProBiotein digestive aid) in SweetPro have an amino acid profile. When these are overlapped, it raises the level of the limiting amino acid allowing more protein to be utilized.
  3. Energy in SweetPro: An adequate amount of energy is required in the rumen for proper protein utilization. SweetPro supplies 5% fat from multiple energy sources including Condensed Distillers Solubles (10X the fat as molasses), vegetable oil, and the ethyl alcohol from the fermented wheat, oats, barley, and flax.  SweetPro blocks also seem to shift the VFA profile more toward propionic acid.
  4. ProBiotein Digestive Aid: SweetPro ferments wheat, oats, barley, and flax to make the digestive aid, ProBiotein. Not only does the ProBiotein have a wide amino acid profile as mentioned above, it also has viable yeast and enzymes. These yeast and enzymes feed the microflora in the rumen and also are able to break down the forage to make it more available for the cow. When these yeast and enzymes die, they are a valuable protein source themselves.
  5. SweetPro’s pH: The pH of the SweetPro blocks are between 9 & 10. Forage digesting bacteria in the rumen thrive and multiply in a higher pH allowing them to maximize forage digestion & utilization. When they are spent, they are the best form of protein that there is for cattle. Note molasses and grains pull down on the pH in the rumen resulting in the Negative Associative Effect (the negative effect of starch digesting bacteria on fiber digesting bacteria in the rumen) and a loss of efficiency.
  6. Protein in the Feed: Finally and maybe most importantly, SweetPro helps breakdown forages up to 25% better and grains about 10% better meaning that you get about 25% more nutrients out of your forages and 10% more out of your grains including protein.

 When choosing which SweetPro block to feed to your cattle, we are not as concerned about the protein level of the block but rather getting the target consumption of around a pound per head per day (1.5lb/pair/day). When we get the consumption that we are targeting, we will help cattle maximize and utilize the available protein and help meet their protein needs.

For more information on SweetPro, please call (866) 601-6646.