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We all know that the first few weeks in a calf's life are a crucial period and whatever happens then in the feeding regime has a far reaching effect on the eventual conformation and performance of your dairy heifer replacements. Always on the lookout for new and innovative products, GP Feeds are pleased to introduce Initiation Calf, a whey based milk replacer in pellet form that will save you time and money. This product has been successfully used in France and Ireland with over half a million calves reared on it and it is now available to you through GP Feeds.

There are many milk replacers on the market at this moment in time so why should you look at this one? Here are some good reasons.


If you are interested in our feeds but a little unsure, pick up the phone and talk to us. We are sure we will be able to answer any questions you may have. Our service is reliable, and using our predictive order system we give you a call well before you run out, so you need never have any supply issues again!

As it's been widely reported the dairy industry is at its lowest milk production level for over 30 years (35 -37 years depending on source), yet prices for animals are continuing to rise. For the seller this is good news, but not so for the buyer. Just recently at a sale at Beeston over a dozen animals were sold for over £1700 each - surely prices of this level can't continue? With price rises being felt from all side it is more important than ever that you are getting the most from your animals (even more so for the higher priced ones - what's the point in paying a high price to waste money in not achieving an animal's best). With our rations we are confident that we have just the products to help.

Remember we offer:

  • Fixed Prices
  • Fixed Formulations
  • Friendly reliable service
  • Practical farm advice from well respected nutritionists
  • Products that do the jobs they are designed for

Don't forget we sell a full range of products including amongst others:

  • Blends (fixed formulations and prices)
  • Compounds (fixed formulations & prices)
  • Fats (including high C16 fats)
  • Youngstock feeds (full range to suit all requirements)
  • Sheep feeds
  • Straights (including, Rape, Soya, Maize, Biscuitmeal etc)
  • Silage additives (both acid and biological)
  • Moist feeds (including Brewers Grains, Supergrains, Draff etc)
  • Molasses (you name it we can sell it)
  • Minerals (want a customised mineral no problem)

Remember with GP Feeds you are first and foremost a customer not merely tonnage to fill our mill, and as the motto goes 'the customer is always right'. With this in mind what you ask for, you get. We don't change things around to suit us, this we feel is worth pointing out, especially in the volatile markets we are currently seeing today. Our rations are created on quality raw materials, not merely analysis and regular ingredient changes.

Don't forget if you are looking for something not listed, it doesn't mean we can't supply it - call us on 01948 661602 as we can source most products.


With the continued success of our GPF Range this summer we have launched GPF Beef 16 Nuts - which has been trialled on a large Beef farm throughout the winter with excellent results. He managed to win top prize at the Christmas markets with his animals. If you are interested in the product please call the office and speak to Gareth on 01948 661602.


Within the agricultural industry we are always being advised and told about new ideas and innovations. We have recently seen an article published by a well known and respected company, within the industry, that has revolutionary new ideas about silage making and ration mixing on farm.

Over the past 3 years of research and development on UK farms evidence is suggesting that grass silage should be cut and ensiled at a shorter chop length than has previously been recommended. A chop length of 20mm is suggested rather than the usual recommendation of 25mm. The benefits of shorter chop silage are increased profitability of the dairy herd due to:

  1. Improved silage quality because of faster ensiling and better compaction of the clamp (greater quantity of grass in each load from field)
  2. Higher dry matter intakes and milk yield
  3. Reduced acidosis because of better TMR mix and less chance of cows selective feeding the starch ingredients of the diet
  4. Greater control of the ration structure as chopped straw can be easily added as opposed to when the chop is longer
  5. Where mixer wagons have been used to chop the grass silage even more, before the other ingredients are added, a further 2 litres of milk has been produced.


Further recent studies have shown significant problems of poor ration mixing on farm, resulting in ration sorting at the barrier.

17% were shown to be correctly mixed, 29% poorly mixed and the sorted by the animals, 37% were poorly mixed only and 17% were well mixed but sorted after feed-out.

Poor ration mixing can be due to a number of factors including:

  1. Over or under mixing
  2. Chop length of the forage
  3. Order of ingredient addition to the mixer
  4. Overfilling the mixers capacity
  5. Mixer capability

In the study it was proved that increasing the proportion of long forage in the diet reduced the ability of the mixer to produce a uniform mix resulting in ingredient selection of the finer starchy particle. These situations of poor mixing and ration sorting can lead to lower milk yields and herd health.

Cows could possibly select the high starch components and salivates less leading to lower natural buffering, whilst the starch itself increases acid production in the rumen resulting in acidosis. This results in lowering the total dry matter intake and milk yield because the cows are eating the fibre part of the TMR later. Contrary to common advice, reduced grass silage chop length will increase dairy cow performance due to less not more rumen acidosis.

These results are the work of one agricultural company and may not be the view of others. However, we felt it only right to give you an insight into current thinking with regard to what is best for your cows. For further information on this technical publication please contact the office on 01948 661602.

SILAGE ADDITIVES - Get the most from your silage by using an additive.

"I couldn't see any benefits." "You may as well put water on the silage for what good it does."
"Additives are only muck and magic." "Just another product eating into our profit margin."
"If the weather is good at silage time you don't need an additive."

These and many more reasons are the ones that are often used as a reason for not buying and using any form of silage additive. Everyone is entitled to their own individual point of view and we perhaps agree with some of the feelings particularly about some products on the market place. Independent trial work (particularly by Llysfasi College at Ruthin and in trials in Ireland) confirmed that not all silage additives provide what they state. We believe that ECOSYL PRODUCTS have the only biological products on the market that have independent trial work behind them proving and guaranteeing what they state. Better fermentation, milk yield increases, better palatability, better liveweight gains, less wastage have all been independently proved on many occasions.

We have every confidence in promoting Ecosyl Products and fully recommend them. However 9 basic rules must be followed when making silage or else no matter what the state of grass being ensiled its full advantages and potential will never be realised.

Silage Making Tips - The Nine Basic Rules

  1. Pit must be rolled between loads
  2. Ensile in layers to eliminate air packets
  3. Have additional "rolling" tractor if sufficient space
  4. Use new silage sheets every year
  5. Side sheets are a must
  6. Weight sheets down all over the surface
  7. Seal the front with care when finished
  8. Tell your contractor what you want, not the other way round - you're the one who is paying!
  9. Watch out for mole hill contamination


Add - F NC is ideal for: All silages that are low in sugar and/or have a high nitrate level and/or wet and contaminated grass. More>>


Cover with your clamp with ClampFilm. The top few inches of any silage are always the least well consolidated, so some air is always present, which prevents a true anaerobic fermentation taking place. Respiration of the plant material continues and allows the degradation of the top layers, effectively creating compost. The only really easy way to stop this is to create an airtight seal as quickly as possible. More>>


As touched on last month, spring is a very critical time for dairy cows that are producing a lot of milk and great care has to be taken in feeding them correctly. We thought that a quick step back to basics would do no harm and make no apologies for the following:

Possible problems

  1. Are you cows producing higher levels of milk than last year?
  2. How do you intend to feed them at grass?
  3. Will you be offering them some forage supplementation (i.e. Buffer feeding)?
  4. Do you feed high magnesium minerals to avoid death from grass staggers?
  5. What levels of parlour feeding (or blends) do you intend to feed?
  6. Do you suffer sudden milk drops 2 - 3 weeks after turn out?
  7. Do your cows lose condition within a month of turnout?
  8. What happens to your milk quality in May / June?
  9. Do you know how much grass your cows are eating especially on wet days?

Possible answers

  1. Digestible fibre is needed to slow down the rate of progress through the rumen to take best advantage of the quality grass going in the other end.
  2. Buffer feeding is essential to maintain high yields of milk.
  3. There is a desperate need for energy and fibre in spring but of the correct type (e.g. digestible fibre).
  4. Cows will look after themselves and if not fed correctly there will be big drops in production as the bodyweight falls.
  5. Milk proteins and butterfats will fall is nutritional aspect of the diet are incorrect.
  6. The biggest Holsteins will struggle to eat enough fresh grass to maintain more than 24 - 26 litres during May and June and the rest of the litres need to be sustained by supplementary feeding.
  7. Keep a tight control on stocking rates to avoid wastage and contamination of grass leading to the lowering of daily intakes.
  8. Monitor your cows carefully to cover all the points mentioned and be prepared to react to change rapidly.

Taking all these factors into consideration means that dairy cows probably need to be monitored even more so than in winter. Very little room is left in the rumen after grazing all day so the input of the dry matter feed (i.e. parlour feed / straights / blends) need to be of the highest quality packed with the correct type of energy, protein and digestible fibre. We have taken all these factors into consideration when formulating our dairy diets for the spring and summer. We also have to cover all types of herds from those producing 5,000 litres average per year to those producing in excess of 11,000 litres, so we therefore have to have a range of product to suit each and every type. One thing we can totally guarantee is that all the diets are based on a FIXED FORMULATION and FIXED PRICE for the May to August period. If, because of a dramatic change during the period (maybe a drought or lack of supply into the UK with soya for example) we will of course need to change rations accordingly, but this will not be done before we have discussed it full with each individual customer.

We believe we have put together a very practical range of feeds not only to maintain high yields but also to let the cow express their full potential of your cheapest product - GRASS. We know we will be competitive in the market place and we also know we have products that will not vary in their make up throughout the summer. Can you current suppler guarantee FIXED FORMULATIONS AS WELL AS A FIXED PRICE? We firmly believe there is no point in selling a product that has an energy value less than grass, you will be wasting your money unless you are using the product as a mineral carrier only - it will not produce milk as economically as a quality higher energy, higher priced product. Cows respond well to our policy of QUALITY PRODUCTS FOR QUALITY PRODUCTION as our many valued customers agree.




Gareth or Rachel (Office)
01948 661602 Fax 01948 871776