JULY 2011 Newsletter

This months linked article's:


Following on from last month's mailshot, many of you have already changed the phone number you have for the office, but just in case you haven't yet, our new address and phone number is:

GP Feeds Ltd, Unit 2, Park View Business Park, Combermere, Whitchurch, Shropshire, SY13 4AL

Tel 01948 661602



Two groups of dry cows with the far off dry cows fed at least a minimum of a high specification mineral tub and some forage as well as ad-lib straw. All cows and heifers to have at least 21 days on a transition diet. Cows should have a body condition score of between 3.0 to 3.5. Thinner cows should be on a transition diet for longer.

Diets should contain similar forages to those fed post calving and either blend or EXCEL PRE CALVER ROLLS. A high specification mineral should be fed. Our EXCEL DRY COW MINERALS / BUCKETS cover all your mineral and vitamin requirements.
This transition diet should be formulated by a competent nutritionist to check it meets the modern cows requirement. If you need advice with dry cow management please ring the office on 01948 661602.

Remember comfort is paramount. Pay attention to these cows and mastitis, lameness and infertility will be reduced.

Ration faults:
Trying to slim dry cows in the dry period
Low quality forage
Poor cow comfort
'Roughing' it approach
Low vitamin and minerals
Mouldy feeds
One dry group
Wrong diet formulation
The use of milking cow minerals in a dry cow diet


Excel Pre-Calver Rolls

Contains: Wheat, Hipro Soya, Sugarbeet, Rapemeal, Maize, Sunflower, Wheatfeed, Prairie Meal, Molasses and Minerals/Vitamins

  • A variety of selected quality energy sources to meet the cows nutritional requirements in the dry period.
  • High energy levels compared to other dry cow rolls.
  • Specific proteins to enhance the wide range of amino acids that are essential during the dry period and early lactation.
  • Includes a mineral specification designed for the modern dairy cow as health is of paramount importance.
  • Enhanced levels of Vitamin A, D and E for the immune system to maintain the cows own resistance to disease.
  • An easy to feed palatable roll with flexible feeding options.
  • Fed at the correct levels this will give your freshly calved cow the best start to a healthy lactation.
  • Contains specific yeast supplement to enhance intakes and rumen function.
Phone the office today on 01948 661602 to discuss your needs.


With variable 1st cut yields of grass silage, 2nd cut gives us the opportunity to ensure we have enough bulk forage for the winter to feed all those hungry mouths. With the recent rainfall and the possible effect of under-utilised fertiliser, there is a good prospect that 2nd cut will fill the clamp. With maize crops generally looking like they may have turned a corner, the effects of the dry winter and spring look like being minimised.

Should we be happy though, just ensuring that we have enough tonnes of forage? What about quality?

Filling the cows' rumens and not letting them go hungry accepted, we then have to match nutritional quality of the ration to yield. This is where the £'s start mounting up but is also an area where you can impact your own business and improving production from silage is key.

For example, take two silages with MEs that differ by 1 MJ - with the same intakes, milk output will differ by approximately 2 litres/cow/day. To make up that extra 1MJ using 1st cut silage, currently being valued at around £120 per tonne of dry matter (Kingshay costing June 2011), would cost us 12 pence. However, if we purchase concentrates to do the same, say at £225 per tonne as fed, the cost of producing those same 2 litres would be around 24 pence.

Over a winter this could mean a cost saving of £26 per cow if you get those 2 litres from good quality forage rather than concentrates. Better quality silage may also increase dry matter intake, increasing production further.

The benefits of getting more milk from forage are well documented, independent research showing a clear correlation between higher milk from forage and lower vet and replacement costs together with improved profitability from those farms exploiting their own natural resources alongside targeted use of purchased feeds.

The main influence on silage quality is not an expensive input . . . it is attention to detail across a wide range of factors. This includes managing top quality leys, having a good re-seeding policy, correct fertiliser use, cutting grass at the optimum time, using a quality additive and good clamp management at ensiling and feedout.

Ecosyl treated silage will improve the fermentation of your silage by dominating the naturally occurring bacteria with more efficient lactic acid producing ones, reducing the time the silage is fermenting and keeping more nutrients available for the cow. Typically, this has been shown to produce on average 1.2 litres per cow per day more milk than untreated silage. It can be applied at 2 litres/tonne, low volume or granular. For High Dry Matter silages with increased risk of aerobic spoilage, Double Action Ecosyl can be used to reduce mould and yeast activity and help prevent the clamp from heating.



UK dry matter losses associated with silages range from 20 to 50% and are worth in excess of £150M per annum. On Wholecrop silage for example a 50% DM crop with a 20% DM loss is worth around £5000 for a 500t clamp! A 2009 Kingshay report said that a cost per tonne dry matter of wholecrop is worth £101/t.

Typical Dry Matter Losses:

Cause Typical DM loss (%) Ease of reduction
Field 2-12 mainly avoidable
Effluent 0-8 avoidable
Primary lactic fermentation 2-5 can be reduced
Secondary butyric fermentation 0-5 avoidable
Aerobic spoilage 15-25 difficult to avoid

The biggest single cause of DM loss is aerobic spoilage - it is also the most difficult to prevent.
Aerobic spoilage leads to:

  • DM losses (up to 50%)
  • loss of lactic acid which can destabilise the fermentation
  • reduced nutritional value - it is the most digestible nutrients that are lost (reduced ME - digestible energy loss can be 1.5 to 2 times the loss of DM). Severe heating, as indicated by a dark brown colour and burnt sugar/tobacco smell, can denature proteins making them unavailable
  • reduced palatability
  • potential production of toxic substances

It is often difficult to appreciate just how much DM has been lost from a clamp because most of the losses are invisible carbon dioxide (CO2) gas that is lost to the atmosphere. The remaining visibly spoilt 'mouldy' silage represents only a small fraction of what was there originally, maybe only 20%.

Treating Wholecrop silage with DOUBLE ACTION ECOCORN will improve the fermentation through the addition of inoculant MTD1 and reduce heating/aerobic spoilage through the addition of Potassium Sorbate, reducing activity of spoilage organisms.

With every tonne of forage conserved this year being important, make sure what comes from the field and into the clamp stays in the clamp with Double Action Ecocorn.

Whatever your requirements we have the product. Call the office today on 01948 661602


Grass growth and quality is still on the poor side, and generally herds have started to suffer from falling milk proteins, which is usually an indication of insufficient energy intakes and relying too much on grass. So the need for buffer feeding is well advised - remember fertility, not yield is always the first to suffer - please consider feeding a fat.

The fat market can be quite a minefield, when considering using a fat you need to assess what you need them for. So you can make the best choice available please check out the features and benefits below on the fat products we sell, before assessing a product purely on price.

If you need any further help deciding which fat is right for you please call the office on 01948 661602 and speak to Gareth.



(ME 33.25 Mj/kg DM)

  • Manufactured in the UK and is the worlds' leading brand of protected fat
  • Dense, energy rich product to be used in TMR diets or in a compound or blend
  • Protein benefits include increased milk yield and milk solids and improved herd fertility


CS Plus

(ME 27.0 Mj/kg DM)

  • Manufactured in the UK
  • A fatty blend combined with a glucose preparation. The use of glucose syrup ensure that the fatty acids are released slowly in the rumen naturally
  • Specific fat profile high in 'C.16' ensures maximum butterfats
  • High energy to maximise milk yield and milk protein
  • Designed to maintain condition score
  • Promotes optimal liver function
  • Highly palatable
  • Use in TMR situations, compounds or blends


Omega Gold

(ME 27.0 Mj/kg DM)

  • Contains all the features and benefits of CS PLUS with added high levels of Omega-3's
  • Contains additional high quality salmon oil rich in Omega-3's
  • Feeding the fish oil enhance the progesterone and strengthens heats
  • Salmon oil is rich in the Omega-3's EPA and DHA which improve bulling and conception rates
  • Increases fertility
  • Conception rates to first service in the UK have dropped below 40% - this has to improve

£727 / t


(ME 24.0 Mj/Kg DM)

  • Improves milk yield
  • Contains only vegetable oils and fats
  • Does not include indigestible wood flour

£645 / t


(ME 25.5 Mj/Kg DM)

  • Increases milk yield
  • Enhances butterfats
  • Balanced unsaturated:saturated fatty acid ratio
  • Slow releasing in the rumen

£570 / t

All prices shown are correct at time of printing, Minimum delivery 1 pallet (1.2t). Price reductions available for larger deliveries - please ring the office.


There is a large demand for grains at present. We have loads available of the following:

Please call the office on 01948 661602 for prices.


Description: The first stage of brewing involves the steeping of malted barley in hot water to extract soluble sugars. The resulting sugary liquid ('wort') is drained off to be fermented into beer leaving a residue known as Brewer Grains. This nutritious feed material is fibrous and contains concentrated sources of protein and oil. It is moist, pale to mid-brown in colour and has a pleasant malty aroma.

Feeding: As with all feeding stuffs, introduce gradually over a 7-14 day period. Brewer Grains comprise an excellent feed for ruminants and contains a good source of digestible fibre and heat-treated protein. Although often used as a forage extender, it provides valuable nutrients, which can also replace concentrate feeds.

Typical Daily Feeding Rates: Dairy & Beef Cows 5 - 24kg, Beef Finishers 5 - ad lib, Stores & Dairy Replacers 5 - 15kg, Sheep 2 - 4.5 kg, Lambs 1 - ad lib. The precise quantity of the above feeding rate are dependent on the quality of the other feeds in the ration.

Typical Analysis (in DM): Dry Matter 24.0%, Crude Protein 24.5%, Crude Fibre 17.0%, ME 11.7 MJ/kg, ERDP 127 g/kg, DUP 74 g/kg, Oil 7.7%, NDF 62.5%, Starch 6.0%, Sugar 1.0%, Ash 4.2%, Calcium 0.33%, Phosphorus 0.41%, Magnesium 0.15%, Sodium 0.01%, Copper 17 mg/kg

Storage and Handling: Brewers Grains should be ensiled in anaerobic conditions.

Availability: Feed loads - whilst stocks last. Pitting - if interested please contact the office for prices


Description: Supergrains are a natural moist co-product from the manufacture of grain spirit at the Cameronbridge Distillery. It is a highly nutritious feed for all ruminant stock, being rich in natural protein, energy and yeast residues. Supergrains are principally comprised of the non-starch parts of wheat grains, which have undergone a cooking stage as part of the distillation process, which greatly enhance the digestibility of the product.

Feeding: Supergrains provide an excellent source of both energy and protein. An additional useful benefit is the oil content which further boosts the energy levels of Supergrains. This superior nutritional profile allows Supergrains to replace some concentrates in the total ration and is particularly useful in silage-based airy rations. It will also provide great benefit when fed with cereals in beef rations.

Typical Daily Feeding Rates: Dairy / Beef 5 -10 kg/h/d, Youngstock 1 - 6kg/h/d. Since there is a high level of copper in Supergrains, the product should only be fed to Sheep under professional advice.

Typical Analysis (in DM): Dry Matter 26.0%, Crude Protein 30.0%, ME 14.1 MJ/kg, FME 10.9 MJ/kg, Oil 8.5%, Starch 5.0%, Sugar (Luff-schoorl) 0.4%, Copper 70.0 mg/kg, Ash 1.5%, Crude Fibre 17.0%, NDF 58.0%, Calcium 0.14%, Phosphorus 0.33%, Magnesium 0.07%, Sodium 0.01%, Potassium 0.19%

Storage and Handling: Supergrains should be ensiled in anaerobic conditions. It should be consolidated to exclude all air, rainwater and other contaminants. This should be done immediately after delivery and then be tightly sheeted. The elimination of air by compacting and tightly sheeting the product will allow storage for many months.

Availability: Feed loads - whilst stocks last. Pitting - if interested please contact the office for prices


Despite concerns over grass growth this spring, early analysis of some 370 grass silage sample by Frank Wright has shown some positive results.

Early Grass Silage Average 2009 - 2011

    2009 2010 2011
Dry Matter % 31.6 31.9 32.5 15.1 62.0
Crude Protein % 13.7 13.4 14.7 10.2 19.7
'D' Value
% 68.0 70.1 70.8 57.6 78.5
Mj/kg DM 10.9 11.2 11.3 9.2 12.6
pH   4.2 4.1 4.2 3.6 5.4
NH3N % 2.7 4.6 2.7 1.2 5.2
Sugar % 2.8 3.0 1.0 0.2 3.6
Ash % 7.9 8.8 8.6 6.4 10.8
NDF % 46.7 48.4 46.6 40.1 69.2
% 32.1 30.7 30.8 24.2 39.9
ADL %   4.0 4.4 2.1 6.8
Oil % 3.5 3.7 3.8 2.6 4.9
VFA g/kg 57.1 27.4 26.8 4.1 63.1
Lactic Acid g/kg 71.1 71.3 65.0 6.2 163.9
Vitamin E Mg/kg 85.1 35.3 74.0 29.5 141.5
Intake Potential g/kg 98.4 103.0 110.6 73.4 151.2
PAL mEq/kg 783.9 758.7 728.5 472.0 1277.4
RSV   281.3 294.0 286.7 225.3 388.4
MPB g/kg 23.9 22.9 27.4 16.5 45.9
MPN g/kg 92.6 89.9 99.6 68.3 133.4
MPE g/kg 72.4 75.3 78.3 57.0 91.0
Date   29/6/2009 28/06/2010 20/06/2011 20/06/2011 20/06/2011

*Based on 402 samples in 2009, 388 samples in 2010 & 370 samples in 2011.

Early crops are light so the main interest will be in the quality of the heavy 2nd cuts made in many areas. Those areas where grass growth has been affected by drought need to check stocks and make choices to meet winter feed needs.

Some 79% of samples analysed up to 20 June 2011 have an ME greater than 11 MJ/kg DM. The average of 11.3 MJ/kg DM, an increase of 0.1 MJ/ kg DM on last year, equates to an extra 0.2 litres of milk based on 10kg DMI.

Results so far indicate that the 2011 average grass silage is well fermented, based on pH, NH3N, VFA and lactic acid content. On average lactic acid levels are lower than the last two years but still within 'normal' limits. 12% of the silages tested have high lactic acid levels (>100g/kg DM). The resultant acid load can significantly impact on rumen activity through acidosis and reduce DMI.

With an average NDF value of 46.6%, this year's grass silage is 1.8% lower than the 2010 average, reflected in the slightly higher energy value. Last October Frank Wright started putting details of a new Rumenac parameter, ADL (Acid Detergent Lignin), now available on forage reports. Comparing the first average taken for this measurement in 2010, 2011 averages indicate a marginally higher ADL value (4.0% vs 4.4%), with 2011 results ranging from 2.1% to 6.8%. As a component of both ADF and NDF, it has an important influence on the D-value of the forage as it binds fibre to reduce digestibility, thus explaining results which have a low NDF and ME, but high ADL value. It is important to ensure that adequate effective fibre is correctly balanced with fermentable carbohydrate to ensure that healthy rumen function in maintained, especially if acidic silages are used.

Crude protein is higher than last year (14.7% vs. 13.4%) which in simple terms means that less protein is required in the concentrate part of the diet. Indeed, if the only forage is grass silage, then the concentrate may typically contain 1% less protein this year compared to 2010. Of course metabolisable protein and the supply and balance of MPN, MPE and MPB are more critical nutrients. This year's grass silage supplies more metabolisable protein but care in formulation is still needed to balance rumen nitrogen and energy. Excess nitrogen (MPN) requires energy for deamination and excretion - 500g per day excess MPN to MPE
requires the equivalent energy as the production of 1.3 litres of milk.

Summary: The early season averages show high quality grass silages on many farms this year. However the wide range of minimum and maximum values seen so far highlights the importance of regular, individual forage testing.

If you feel you are not getting the right advice on how to get the best from your cows, you need to talk to us. We have the staff, the products and the right approach for a challenging year. With milk prices increasing, good quality forage on farm, this is definitely the year to feed the cows a good quality compound and /or blend. We are a company with excellent quality feeds, with fixed formulations, no substitutes.

Let us help you to maximise your profits this year, by feeding the right products, you know it make financial sense - so the only number you need to call is GP Feeds on 01948 661602.




Gareth or Rachel (Office)
01948 661602 Fax 01948 871776