Dr. John Doerr, Ph.D., PAS, Dpl. ACAP – Vice President, Science and Technology – Agrarian Solutions
In many past communications I’ve mentioned the ‘extra’ value customers will find in our L-Form-based dairy products line. The primary focus of these products is the selected activity associated with our various bacterial lines: Select DTX has one L-Form which provides protection against a wide array of fungal toxins; Select BioCycle has two L-Form strains, one for significant modulation of immune function and one for control of Gram negative bacteria in the GI tract. And while they perform as described, customers ask (or should!) about the value of an additive when the challenge for which it is offered is absent. Why spend money on a mycotoxin controller if the herd doesn’t seem to be facing a particular challenge?
So, let me tell you a little bit about a recent research trial. I’ll have to ask your patience, though. I’m going to report on a large commercial farm trial with swine! Now I’m a microbiologist and while I can understand the huge differences between ruminants and monogastrics or between cows and chickens, I marvel at how functionally similar their small intestines are. And that’s where the L-form has to do its job. The experiment tested more than 100 sows/treatment. All got the same ration except the control had a competitor’s mycotoxin additive while the treatment had the swine-equivalent of DTX. DTX was in the rations from beginning of gestation through lactation and weaning of the piglets. Results? Sows had 1.3 more piglets per litter born alive, 1.2 piglets more per sow surviving through weaning, diarrhea in nursing pigs was cut by over 50%, and piglets averaged over 4 lbs higher weights at weaning. These were all significant (P<0.05) results. Milk yield in sows increased more than 20% and digestibility for protein was highly significant (P<0.01) and higher for lipid (P<0.05) during lactation. Healthier sows produced more offspring, and used feed more efficiently to give better milk values than the controls. And the piglets were healthier and grew faster. But here’s the catch. Multiple feed tests on this farm revealed little or no mycotoxin…any mycotoxin!
The scientific literature demonstrates unequivocally that the exposed cell membrane of an L-Form has 4-5 times the immune system interactivity of a wild-type, cell-wall complete bacterium. In essence this just means that when you are feeding DTX or BioCycle to your cows, they are benefiting not just from the primary effect but also from an additional pro-biotic kind of health support. And it shows in production values. So that begs the question– why would you want to feed a limited scope mycotoxin binder (clay or yeast cell wall fraction) since when the one or two toxins against which they have effect are not present, the price of the additive is just passing into the manure? Why wouldn’t you rather use a very broad-spectrum product which offers greater toxin protection but also delivers an added punch when the toxin load drops?