The function of molasses and sugars in the ruminant diet has been studied for many years. Molasses was first extracted from the sugar refining process in the mid-19th century. Since then, refiners have been looking for markets for molasses, and animal feed has been an important component of that.
Like research in many areas, even after a couple of generations, while there are aspects that have become well known, there are others less well known. We still do not understand what form of “sugar” is most beneficial and in what nutritional circumstances.
Included below are a selection of articles and research studies relating to sugar and molasses, from basic considerations to an atomic level view.
Author: Mary Beth de Ondarza. As seen in the Hoards Dairyman, December 2020
TYPICAL U.S. lactating dairy rations containing no added sugars run at sugar levels between 1.5% to 3%. However, we are learning that 6% to 8% dietary sugar may actually be optimal. As we feed more silages and processed feeds, many sugars that would otherwise naturally be in the dairy cow diet have been removed by the shift in ration ingredients.Read More