This months linked article's:
SPRING / SUMMER FEEDING
Springtime will soon be here again, a time when your natural instinct is to say "bye-bye" to your feed merchant for a few months and produce all your milk from grass. This of course will be fine for a week or two but the repercussions could be catastrophic!
With milk prices where they are today, it is even more critical that you produce as much milk as economically possible without putting your cows under needless stress. Feeding silage, as a buffer feed (if you have any left), and perhaps incorporating a blend from GP Feeds will produce better milk quality and better cow health.
Spring grass is a wonderful product for producing milk but it is lacking in one aspect, digestible fibre. It is green, full of nutrients and very palatable, but it is also full of water and high protein. The result of all this means it passes through the rumen very rapidly, in fact too quickly for all the nutrients to be absorbed and utilised to the full. Fresh spring grass can only produce 25 litres of milk, at best and the balance of each cows' production will come off her reserves unless you feed for it. As a result, a rapid loss of weight, loss of milk, infertility, poor milk quality and loss of income will occur. Of course you can drastically reduce your feed inputs in Spring, but it must be a planned, sensible operation that will help the cow to produce to her maximum, leading to more profit for you. If you need help planning your Spring / Summer rations we are here to help - call the office on 01948 661602.
For those of you finishing a fixed price winter contract, you may find that this years Spring / Summer prices will rise. Remember we offer fixed prices and a fixed formulation of only quality raw materials - no fillers, GUARANTEED. With our new spring and summer compounds now in place we have ideal products to cover all aspects of quality milk production. Blends also available.
Ring the office on 01948 661602 for further details.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE - WHAT IS THE ANSWER?
The current Raw Material costs for all ingredients in compound feeds and blends for the immediate future look to be a lot firmer than in recent years. Please see table below.
Table1: RAW MATERIAL PRICES EX DOCK / STORE / FARM
Average % Increase 33%
With forage stocks low on many farms buffer feeding may be out of the question. Which means that milk production will have to rely on grass and parlour cake / blends. Diets will need to be formulated to lessen the impact of spring grass and its ongoing problems such as fertility, scouring, loss of body weight, low butterfats and grass staggers. Healthy cows will benefit from this type of feeding and healthy cows will help to reduce stress levels that are the onset of so many problems.
So called 'cheaper' products such as Palm Kernal , Citrus. Sunflower. Wheatfeed and Soya Hulls, which all have a place in a balanced ration, are no longer 'cheap'. Having increased in price more than traditional raw materials, this is due to the demand of them being used as a fuel source to power stations. If you choose to buy blends made up of these cheaper raw materials then your feed bill will undoubtedly be less, but your cost per unit of nutritional value will be a great deal higher. We say again buy "QUALITY PRODUCTS FOR QUALITY PRODUCTION"
Price increases in compound feeds and blends can be expected from all manufacturers of between £20 - £30 per tonne from (BUT NOT GP FEEDS!) March onwards, if you haven't already had to endure a price rise from your supplier, dependant on the type of contract (if any) you have had this winter. At GP Feeds we have spent many hours deliberating and formulating with our manufacturer, independent consultants and our own expertise, to launch a range of competitively priced spring and summer products to fulfil all the needs of the modern milking cow as well as intensively fed beef and lambs. To maintain our high standard and create a fixed formulation has been challenging with the constraints of the raw material situation today. We feel we have achieved this with our new range to give you the best value in the area along with the best service and technical input. Why not give us a ring to discuss our thoughts of why we have put these new innovations together and perhaps we may well be able to help with your own individual on farm situation.
We at GP Feeds have bought very well for the winter and this coming summer, for which our customers can verify with no sharp increases at all this winter unlike most of our competitors.
To take advantage of our competitively price new summer range you need to speak to the office on 01948 661602 or your local agent, we have limited tonnages available on our new range so booking early is advisable. Whether it be a compound or a blend we will have a product that will fit your feeding regime if not we will make you one!
A cautionary note "Yes we harp on about fixed formulations", with the raw material market as it is, you will see your declaration ticket changing this season - but not with GP Feeds. So without you knowing your diet will change, which is of no nutritional benefit to you or your cows - "you have been warned!"
Our new exciting spring and summer range whether compound or a blend will be a guaranteed fixed formulation, we look forward to talking to you.
SHORT OF MAIZE SILAGE?
One of our customers (and we guess many are in the same boat) is about to run out of maize silage. The cows are milking extremely well, and we do not want to lose any continuity of the diet. So we have introduced Supergrains and more Supagold Biscuitmeal to replace the maize and the chart below shows how cost effective this is to meet the cows requirements.
Customers current ration: M+26 litres
Alternative ration with Supergrains:
Existing ration uses maize at £25 / tonne. If this were replaced with bought in maize at £35 / tonne the daily cost would be £1.94 / day or 7.5p / litre. Therefore introducing Supergrains and more grass saves 0.3p/litre then buying in extra maize silage - if available.
A product that is proving to be valuable on many dairy and beef farms this year is Yeast. Yeast is designed to maintain a healthy rumen, aid fibre digestion, increase milk yields, improve liveweight gains and food conversions. This year in particular, live yeast is helping to raise overall rumen PH and increase fibre-digesting bacteria with many of the silages that don't appear to be performing as well as their analysis suggests. Less than ¼ of a litre would cover the cost of 30 - 50 grams of Yeast per day plus all the additional benefits.
Certainly a product that needs considering - if you need more information please phone the office on 01948 661602 and speak to Gareth.
REMEMBER TO KEEP ON EYE ON THEM WITH THE EVER CHANGING SITUATION WITH RAW MATERIALS. ARE YOU GETTING WHAT YOU ARE PAYING FOR?
REMEMBER YOU DO WITH GP FEEDS!!
QUALITY PRODUCTS FOR QUALITY PRODUCTION
Gareth or Rachel (Office)