Source: Canola Council of Canada news release

At the recent Penn State Dairy Nutrition Workshop, Dr. Kenneth Kalscheur, a prominent dairy nutrition researcher at the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wisconsin, provided findings on the subject of “Canola Meal vs. Soybean Meal in Dairy Cow Diets”. The workshop provides training to feed industry professionals, and this year’s focus concentrated on amino acid and protein nutrition for lactation.

“Canola meal provides a cost-favorable source of essential amino acids,” said Dr. Kalscheur as he explained his research.

He pointed out that the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin, has been involved in researching the feeding of canola meal as a protein source for lactating dairy cows for quite some time. This research is part of the Canola Agri-Science Cluster, with funding provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canola Council of Canada, Alberta Canola, SaskCanola and the Manitoba Canola Growers.

Many trials conducted with mid-lactation cows in the Wisconsin studies showed that substituting canola meal for soybean meal resulted in a 0.6 to 1.4 litre daily milk yield advantage. This is often accompanied by feed cost savings. Results from Dr. Kalscheur’s 2016 early lactation study showed an even greater milk increase in early lactation cows – an average of 4.45 litres more milk per day.

The researcher noted that the efficiency of nutrient conversion to milk is improved with the inclusion of canola meal in diets for dairy cows. This often results in lower milk urea nitrogen. He emphasized that the superior amino acid balance in canola meal supports its efficient utilization.

Overall Results for the Early Lactation Feeding Trial
Comparing Canola Meal to Soybean Meal

Soybean Meal; Canola Meal
Dry Matter Intake, kg/day; 25.0; 25.4
Milk Yield, kg/day (or litre/day); 51.10; 55.53
Energy Corrected Milk; 53.55; 57.33
Feed Efficiency, milk/feed; 2.14; 2.25

Milk Components
Fat, %; 3.9; 3.9
Protein, %; 2.9; 2.8
Fat, kg/day; 2.04; 2.17
Protein, kg/day; 1.45; 1.54
Milk urea nitrogen, mg/dL; 11.5; 10.9

These findings are important for dairy farmers and nutritionists in Canada seeking to improve feeding performance and lower feed costs. The Wisconsin researchers continue their leadership role in the application of canola meal in diets for dairy cows, with additional studies and demonstration trials currently in the planning stage.

About Canolamazing
Canola meal is a coproduct of canola processing and is approximately 36 percent crude protein, with a high bypass protein value and amino acid profile well suited for milk production. Because of its high protein content, canola meal is often used as a protein supplement for animal feeds, including dairy rations. Visit to learn more.

About the Canola Council of Canada
The Canola Council of Canada is a full value chain organization representing canola growers, processors, life science companies and exporters. Keep it Coming 2025 is the strategic plan to ensure the canola industry’s continued growth, demand, stability and success – achieving 52 bushels per acre to meet global market demand of 26 million metric tonnes by the year 2025. This year, the Canola Council celebrates its 50th anniversary. Visit to learn more.