Welcome to Fermentrics™
Given that digestibility assays are expensive the desire to use as few point as possible is understandable, but not always correct. In order to overcome this problem Fermentrics™ began working on a gas fermentation technique and has developed an online system that, when combined with wet chemistry/ In Situ/ In Vitro/ Gas Chromatography measurements, has proven to be a very effective method of reviewing ingredients, TMR's and feed additives such as fibrolytic enzymes.
The basis for the gas system is work reported by researchers at Cornell University, University of Kentucky , the University of California, the Rowett Research Institute, the University of Hohenheim and the DLO institute for Animal Science and Health. The system can be programmed to record thousands of measurements over a 48 hour time period which allows for a more realistic statistical evaluation. When combined with VFA measurement the system can be used to predict microbial biomass through the stoichiometric relationship between ATP, gas production and the partitioning factor. None or these analyses can take away the need for "cow sense" but they become a powerful tool when assessing forages and TMR's and can easily out perform predictions based on NIR values or single time point disappearances.
We've been using the Fermentrics analysis system on our farm for a number of years. It's a key tool in our ration balancing because it brings more science and less art into the equation. To visualize what the rumen bugs and ultimately what the cow will actually do with the ration is both extremely simple and powerful at the same time. The new Fermentrics reports are even more visual and easier to interpret than before so we implement the results quickly. We've used the system as much to diagnose/troubleshoot rations as we do to refine and experiment, helping us to become more productive and ensure our cows' health.
Tim Clark, Tranquility Farms