Home n’ Dry pellets are the foundation of Alkasystems technology. Developed after extensive research and trials over 30 years ago, they are a unique, cost effective, high protein feed material that enable farmers, nutritionists and feed manufacturers to maximise the potential of their crops, feeds and diets.
Easy to use in a ONE-STEP APPLICATION - once in contact with moisture, Home n’ Dry pellets release ammonia into the subject crop or feed destroying microbes, moulds and mycotoxins - effectively sterilising the crop.
The resultant crops and feeds are alkaline, stable, increased in protein content and as the ammonia also reacts with lignin in plant cell walls, have enhanced digestibility. The high pH in the treated materials helps buffer the rumen against excess acidity and allows a whole new approach to feedstuffs and feeding techniques.
Home n’ Dry is applied to mature farm grown cereal crops to create feeding solutions that improve diets, improve feed intakes and allow greater contribution of forages and home grown feeds to the diet.
Alkagrain is a widely proven method of safely feeding higher levels of cost effective home grown or low cost purchased cereals in diets for dairy cattle, beef cattle and all ruminants.
At current grain prices (2016) Alkagrain is a 15% Protein, High Energy and good quality animal feed costing less than £150 per tonne to produce on farm in the UK.
Alkagrain is safe to feed as a concentrate in balanced diets at 2 or 3 times greater feed rate than conventionally prepared cereal grains as a high quality cost effective substitute for other manufactured and purchased feeds.
Alkagrain is produced by taking ripe fully mature cereal grain and mixing this with Home n’ Dry® Pellets prior to storage. The Alkagrain can either be crimped / rolled during this harvest phase to be ready for use at opening or mixed whole to be crimped / rolled as necessary prior to feeding. Through a natural process ammonia is temporarily released into the crop stabilising the mix and raising the pH into the alkaline range (pH 8.0 to 9.0). In effect we are utilising protein that will be bought in the winter to conserve and enhance the grain during storage. Alkagrain provides the following advantages.
TECHNICAL POINTERS FOR ALKAGRAIN PRODUCTION
The most detailed information can be found in our Standard Operating Procedure for the production of Alkagrain.
Alkagrain can be produced from all types of cereal grains at harvest – wheat, barley, triticale, oats, rye, maize (corn), sorghum (milo), and millet. The grain should be mature and, ideally, in a dry matter range of 80% to 85%. This is much drier than for conventional crimping, giving a wider harvest window and generally improved combine work rate.
The crop can be harvested in damp conditions as a little surface moisture can speed the process in storage.
Alkalage can only be produced by simply mixing Home n’ Dry® feed protein pellets with the harvested cereal crop to create a higher protein alkaline mixture of forage and concentrate.
Alkalage production is a proven method of utilising own grown mature cereal crop feeds to greatly increase animal performance and health potential whilst reducing the proportion of purchased feeds in the diet. Alkalage production is more effective than fermented whole crop silage because:
Use of straw in dairy & beef diets to improve ration structure and in modern high fibre dry cow diets is generally regarded as desirable. In particular this is true with regard to Total Mixed Ration (TMR) diets.
However on many farms the cost and practicality of preparing baled straw for feeding is not always easy. Straw choppers are dusty and often struggle to deliver the ideal chop length for feeding. Feeder wagons can take a lot of time and fuel to chop the diet when long straw is used, some wagons can’t chop straw at all leaving it vulnerable to sorting out by the cattle or sheep.
In practice this straw is the most concentrated form of structural fibre sometimes called physically effective fibre (peNDF). It is important in intensive diets to improve and stabilise rumen function, in high fibre dry cow diets it provides bulk with low nutrient density. Whenever straw is fed it must be balanced with degradable protein sources to allow it to be effectively digested.
When our customers produce Alkalage® from mature whole crop cereals a substantial portion of the material is chopped straw providing the characteristics noted above. This is one of the great values of Alkalage.
However for many diets the grain portion of Alkalage provides too much energy. Or the farm may prefer to harvest cereals as grain for either conventional grain processing or as Alkagrain®. In these cases Alkastraw production provides a viable option to provide this important straw component for the diet ready to feed out of the stack straight into the diet without baling.
The temporary ammonia environment will produce a stable forage and feed mix even if the straw is damp. This will also discourage attack of the stored crop by rats and other vermin.
Alkasystem feeds either made on farm or bought in the form of nuts or blends have profound and beneficial benefits within the diet and in mixed diets in particular as sources of acid loading are tackled at source. This benefit can now be delivered directly in to all mixed diets used on farm.
AlkabupHa is a complimentary compound feed designed to be fed to ruminants by mixing into the forages fed to the animal. It is made from carefully selected sources of common feed materials so that it rapidly releases ammonia on getting damp in the diet.
AlkabupHa contains 90% Crude Protein and contributes strongly to the Calcium and Magnesium requirements of the animal.
Using AlkabupHa® in the Diet
The way AlkabupHa works in the diet is explained in our Leaflet “Introducing AlkabupHa” which also contains a few general guidelines about feeding rates and introduction in to the diet.
We also have available our “Alkalator” spreadsheet or Smartphone App that calculates the inclusion rate range required for effectively tackling any given set of forages and allows adjustment to be made for the benefits of including Alkalage®, Alkagrain® and Alkastraw® in the diet. In practice a few guidelines have been developed to boost the benefits of introduction of AlkabupHa in to the mix. Typical Analysis data for rationing programmes can be found overleaf.
STARTING FEED RATE
It is clear that it is not necessary to remove the entire acid load from the diet to begin to see benefits from the introduction of AlkabupHa in to the mix. The Alkalator can be used to find a target feed rate with most precision but in most cases an initial feed rate at the lower end of the effective range say between 250g to 400g per day for dairy cows with other animals adjusted pro rata according to body weight and feed intake. This amount is according to the base acid load from the forage. For dairy cows and other intensively fed animals this level is designed to deliver improvements in feed intake and reduction in acid loading effects on the animals.
With the creation of a powerful concentrated grain premix Alkagrain 150 it is now possible to deliver fully alkalised feeds as nuts and blends.
This concentrate also makes Alkagrain readily available on demand from the feed blend supply sector.
FiveF Alkaline protein based feeding solutions work for the farmer because they allow the creation of feeding systems that improve feed intake and digestion whilst maximising utilisation of forages and cereals. This creates a powerful combination of improved output and lower costs.
Since 2012 careful development means we are now able to offer our technology in manufactured blended feeds where the WHOLE feed is fully “Alkalised”. So creating NEW AlkaBlend® feeds.
This is much more powerful than just alkalizing the grain component and the whole dietary impact of feeding realistic feed1 levels has a beneficial effect across the other diet materials and forages. Key factors for success are:
Our specialist concentrated Alkagrain 150 Premix is included at an approved level in AlkaBlend feeds to increase starch and protein content whilst stabilising pH and driving down acid load after feeding. The WHOLE blend is fully alkalised not just the grain portion.
Alkablends are available as Alkagrain feeds, standard blends and as custom blends to suit any on farm feed balancing and alkalizing requirements.
1 A realistic feed rate is >25% of DMI from Alkalised feed.
Since 2012 careful development means we are now able to offer our technology in manufactured pelleted feeds where the WHOLE feed is fully “Alkalized”. So creating NEW AlkaNut® feeds.
This is much more powerful than just alkalizing the grain component and the whole dietary impact of feeding realistic feed1 levels has a beneficial effect across the other diet materials. Key factors for success are
Our specialist concentrated Alkagrain 150 Premix is included at an approved level in AlkaNut feeds to increase starch and protein content whilst stabilising pH and driving down acid load after feeding; Particularly after parlour feeding and allowing much more starchy “fiery” nuts to be fed safely. The WHOLE nut is fully alkalised not just the grain portion.
1 A realistic feed rate is >25% of DMI from Alkalised feed.
ALKANUT IN PRACTICE
AlkaNuts are available as required from your feed mill, they are ready to feed straight off the truck and are readily stored in standard farm storage facilities. AlkaNut ranges are tailored to individual farm and local feeding circumstances, and other feeds and forages available.
AlkaNuts are powerful feeds in effective in feeding scenarios from supporting extensive pasture utilisation right through to the most intensive housed production systems. They are particularly useful in automated feeding systems like milking parlours, robots and out of parlour feeders as well as hopper and trough feeding beef and rearing cattle and sheep.
AlkaNut production and technology have been developed through working closely with farmers able to use new methods to monitor rumen activity and feed intakes. These include Rumen pH monitoring boluses and electronic rumination monitoring. Alkalising the feed has repeatedly shown improvements in rumen pH stability, rumination time and feed intake. These are the basis for making more effective healthier diets that better utilise all the feeds used.