Methionine supplementation during the close-up dry period and through the first 30 days of lactation seems to improve early lactation milk yield, according to University of Illinois research.

Methionine-supplemented cows ate more dry matter during the first 30 days in milk than non-supplemented controls. The supplemented cows also produced nearly 8.5 pounds more milk per day than control cows.

The results, presented in abstract form at the 2011 Joint Annual Meeting (JAM) of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science, suggest that supplementing a moderate-energy close-up diet with rumen-protected methionine may benefit milk production and dry matter intake in the subsequent lactation.

The researchers said that methionine supplementation also was “encouraging” for decreasing NEFA (non-esterified free fatty acid) concentrations after calving.

For more study details, read abstracts 871 and 872 from the 2011 JAM.