My dairies in Florida, where molasses and citrus pulp are staples and in Arizona, where molasses, beet pulp and almond hulls are common, tended to produce milk with higher protein than my Midwest clients with high silage diets. Fermentation converts most of the sugar in fresh forage to organic acids in the silage.
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.