July 2012 Newsletter

This months linked article's:

With another round of milk price cuts for some, it is easy to be despondent, but we at GP Feeds would like to bring some positivity to our industry.

If you look at huge 1st cut silages, many of our customers have used their early order Ecosyl stocks up on just 1st cut when it should have covered them for 1st & 2nd cut. With this in mind, please check your stocks give us a call if you need to replenish ready for 2nd cut - which will still be at the early order offer price, not the current increased price - what a great deal!

Quite a few of our customer are experiencing high milk ureas, in excess of 3.0 to 3.5 we can take full advantage of this with Amino Pro-tek, which in the past has given us a minimum of 1 litre increase and up to 5 litres on one case. Although the average increase is around 2 to 2.5 litres. At a cost of 8.5p per cow per day it has a pay back of 3 fold, just on litres in milk, and that is not taking into account the health benefits of the animal.

Many are also suffering with low butterfats, don't forget we have our own butterfat enhancer 'CS Plus' (which stands for condition score plus). It is a well tried and tested product and not only does it work, but at around £100 per tonne cheaper than Megalac, and most other fats on the market it really is worth considering.

Looking forward to the next few months we will be trading the Wheat Distillers products coming out of Vivergo on Humberside. We will have at our disposal around 350,000 tonnes of dried home produced 34% protein Wheat Distiller Pellets, which will be a direct replacement to Rapemeal and some Hipro Soya.

On top of the dried products we will also have liquid Wheat Syrups, in different protein forms available to us. Also with Barley Distillers now going to be burnt in the Bio-Fuel industry this will release to us, about 40,000 tonnes of Pot Ale Syrup, which was previously used as the protein source on the Barley Distillers. So watch this space for cheap liquid proteins!!

This can only be good news for all of us, as it now brings home grown proteins to the market. So there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Please see the attached pages for details of the products mentioned and if you want to discuss anything further please give Gareth a call on 01948 661602.

Don't forget to have a look at our website (www.gpfeeds.co.uk) which is full of useful information for our industry and your comments are always welcome, and remember we are only a click away.

Don't forget we can be contacted on: Tel 01948 661602, Fax 01948 871776 & E-mail admin@gpfeeds.co.uk and coming soon on Twitter when Gareth's been trained!



  • For treating all grass and legume silage
  • Available for liquid or dry application in 100 tonne packs
  • Liquid can be applied from 20mls up to 2 litres per tonne
  • Can be applied by any applicator, on any harvester
  • Recommended for conventional or organic use
  • Applies 1 million MTD/1 bacteria per gram of treated silage
  • 2 year shelf life in a cool, dry place



In order to maintain high yields in the Spring/ Summer producers need to fine tune the overall ration, but this must be cost effective. One route that has worked well for many dairy farmers is to add Amino Pro-Tek to the diet. This is a sugar mineral complex that is non GM and fits in well to most feeding regimes. It works in the rumen and enables better use to be made of the protein in home grown forage, but especially in conjunction with high protein spring grass.

We have in previous years seen improvements in milk yield of 1.8 to 2.5 litres per head per day in average and high yielding herds where Amino Pro-Tek has been included.

Please ring the office on 01948 661602 to hear all about this "magic dust" as it has becoming known!! Remember high urea levels can also dramatically affect conception rate. Please click here for further details...



Are you one of the many farms suffering with butterfats problems, if so the solution could lie with our EXCLUSIVE product CS Plus. This product is very competitively priced, please click here for details...



Pot Ale Syrup is a co-product liquid of the malt whisky distillery process that contains a highly nutritious blend of carbohydrates, yeast residues, proteins and minerals. It is highly palatable, enhances forage intake and provides a valuable source of dietary protein and energy for farm livestock...


Early Grass Silage Averages - June 2012

(re-printed by kind permission of FWTN)

The Met Office data for the UK shows that April 2012 was the coldest since 1989 and the wettest on record. May continued cool and unsettled with variable rainfall across the UK until the 21st May when the weather became settled, dry, sunny and hot. Some first cut grass silage was taken during the unsettled period in early May on 'typical' cutting dates, but most was cut later in ideal conditions. There is plenty of grass silage in most clamps and the analyses of 455 first cut samples from the FWTNI laboratory reveal that the average grass silage has good nutrient value, is well made and will feed well. It is similar to the early season averages from previous years, albeit slightly lower in dry matter (1%), energy 0.2 MJ/kg DM and intake potential (4.5g/kgLwt0.75) than 2011, but similar to 2010. An intake of 10kg dry matter of this average grass silage will support approximately M + 7litres.

Early Grass Silage Averages 2010 - 2012

  2010 2011 2012
Dry Matter
% 31.9 32.9 31.6 15.1 58.7
Crude Protein
% 13.4 14.7 14.4 10.8 19.4
'D' Value
% 70.1 70.8 69.7 60.3 76.7
Mj/kg DM 11.2 11.3 11.1 9.6 12.3
  4.1 4.2 4.1 3.6 5.4
% 4.6 2.7 2.8 1.0 16.6
% 3.0 1.4 2.7 2.1 5.8
% 8.8 8.6 8.7 6.5 10.9
% 48.4 46.6 44.3 38.4 57.2
% 30.7 30.8 30.8 25.2 36.0
AD Lignin
g/kg 40.0  44.0 47.8 11.5 69.9
% 3.7 3.8 3.6 2.7 5.0
g/kg 27.4 26.8 19.2 0.5 61.4
Lactic Acid
g/kg 71.3 65.0 73.6 9.1 189.0
Vitamin E
Mg/kg 35.3 74.0 68.2 9.0 133.2
Intake Potential
g/kg0.75 103.0 110.6 106.1 75.7 143.1
mEq/kg 758.7 728.5 733.5 438.2 1232.9
  294.0 286.7 272.1 217.6 340.1
g/kg 22.9 27.4 27.5 17.5 46.4
g/kg 89.9 99.6 97.6 71.8 134.4
g/kg 75.3 78.3 77.4 60.7 90.0
  28/06/2010 20/06/2011 22/06/2012 22/06/2012 22/06/2012

Inevitably there is a wide range of grass silages in clamps across the UK. A comparison of the 20% wettest and driest samples clearly illustrates the challenges to overcome when feeding low dry matter grass silages.

  Wettest 20% Driest 20%
Dry Matter
% 20.7 43.8
Intake Potential
g/kg0.75 93.4 117.8
Mj/kg 10.9 11.2
% 2.3 3.4
  4.0 4.3
Lactic Acid
g/kg0.75 111.1 45.7
Meg/kg 930 668
Crude Protein
% 14.9 14.0
Deg N
% 79 82
Deg DM
% 48 53
Silage intake
Kg DM 10 10
Kg FM 48.3 23.0
Milk yield (l/day) from:
M+ 6.6 7.2
Metabolisable Protein
M+ 6.8 10.3
Excess MPN
g/d 313 86
Microbial protein yield
g/d 368 621

The wettest 20% of samples averaged a dry matter of only 20.7% whilst the driest 20% averaged 43.8%.

Whilst both sectors were generally well made and preserved, the low dry matter silages required a much higher lactic acid loading to achieve the necessary stable fermentation pH of 4. Consequently the risk of acidosis when feeding wetter forages is much greater. This is clearly illustrated by the potential acid load which is some 40% higher in the 21% DM grass silage compared to the 44% DM group. Particular attention to rumen health will be needed where wet grass silages are fed. Rumen active fibre from drier forages or chopped straw will be needed to stimulate both the natural buffering of salivation and rumen activity. Rumen buffers will help to neutralise rumen acid load whilst live yeasts can promote rumen microbial activity. Each can have a key role in preventing acidosis.

The negative impact of feeding wet grass silages on rumen digestion is a significant and important issue,
even beyond acidosis. Drier grass silage supports better rumen digestion than wet silage due to its ability to promote greater microbial activity and growth. The higher microbial protein yield from drier silages (621 vs 368 g/day) results from greater availability of rumen nitrogen and energy, seen from the degradability of nitrogen (82 vs 79%) and dry matter (53 vs 48%). Consequently the potential milk yield from silage based on the metabolisable protein it supplies is some 3.5 litres/day greater (M+10.3 vs M+6.8 litres/day) with the top 20% of drier grass silage than the bottom 20% analysed so far this season. Simplistically, to achieve the same milk yield from forage based on its metabolisable protein supply, the wetter grass silage would require supplementation with nearly 0.75kg/day of soya bean meal to compare with dry grass silage. This equates to an additional feed cost of 26 pence per cow per day at a hi-pro soya cost of £350/ tonne.

In addition, the higher rumen microbial activity will help increase forage digestion and further drive feed intakes and milk yield - as illustrated by the significantly higher intake potential in the dry silage group (117.8 vs 93.4 g/kg0.75).

Clearly, there are many performance, health and financial advantages from optimising the dry matter of grass silage.

Of course, it is not possible to change what is already in the clamp. However, if low dry matter grass silage is the only currently available forage, it would be advisable, if weather permits, to aim to make higher dry matter material as second cut. Alternative forages such as whole crop cereal silages will also have a key role when available. The strategic mixing of forages through the winter in balancing rations will help to optimise performance.

In summary, initial assessment of the 2012 first cut grass silages shows a wide range of forage quality. On average, despite poor weather before harvest, the crop is well preserved, of good quality and will feed well. However, there is a high proportion of low dry matter material which will need careful rationing to avoid rumen acidosis whilst maximising rumen microbial activity and digestion to optimize milk from these forages this winter.


With the majority of so called experts prophesising that the planet is getting hotter and drier due to global warming, is it time that we thought, in this country, of growing a forage crop that has drought tolerance and is a superb product to feed to high performance dairy cows?...



Gareth or Rachel (Office)
01948 661602 Fax 01948 871776