Nov - Dec 2012 Newsletter

This months linked article's:


To the present time, almost without exception, milk production through 2012 has been well below the norm. In reading this, you the producer will be well aware of many of the reasons, but it may be worth reiterating some of the obvious!

It is worth noting that now in early December most herds are anywhere between 3 to 5 litres/cow below expectation. Why? With the wettest summer for over a 100 years, while grass growth wasn't an issue, what it produced was well below normal in productive terms. Grass samples taken through the summer consistently showed low sugars, and while ME, D value, NDF and protein levels were close to the mark, cow`s didn't think much of it! They just didn't milk, and with low Dry Matter levels cows struggled to maintain satisfactory intakes, and thus also lost condition. A poor summer for milk from grass!

Consequently, and of no surprise, silages reflected similar characteristics, and with many cuts much delayed by poor conditions, nutrient values have been highly variable. Even those who managed to make `rocket fuel` silage, (on paper!), have found cow`s are simply not producing as expected. With weight loss fertility has also widely suffered.

The Reason

It doesn't take a genius to work out that the fundamental missing ingredient was Sunshine, which latterly has also reflected in maize silage samples, which while they appear close to average,(yield not withstanding), look as though they will need careful balancing with extra starch and sugar to make them feed as they should.

Many farmers have tried all kinds of `add ons` to try and boost production, but for the most part responses have generally been minimal and certainly not economically viable. However there have been some successes using Molasses, (sugar), in one form or another dependent on forage type(s). With grass silage normal molasses has shown worthwhile responses, and in some instances even allowed a reduction in concentrate use without any yield penalty. With maize and or wholecrop based diets the Nutrimaize range of products, (with a range of available regulated release protein levels), has also shown positive responses. It is also interesting to note that farmers who have adopted these approaches, have consistently maintained the quality of their concentrate feeds, as parlour compound or blends, and not gone down the `cheap` route, which would further dilute the density of their diets. With raised NDF levels in most silage types, fibre digestion enhancing products such as Yeast, (RA25) and Amaferm are likely to have an influence.

At GP Feeds we recognise that farmers are facing a difficult winter for a host of reasons, and in many herds until condition is regained, cows will just be `coasting along`. However there are signs now that more recently calved animals that have been housed for a while are getting closer to expectation. One other factor in the equation is the widespread incidence of the Schmallenberg Virus, which can result in variable production, as well of course as deformity in calves and abortion in some instances.

So if you haven't already considered the `sunshine factor`, it may be worth looking towards an appropriate Molasses product, and also don`t be tempted to go down the `cheap route`, because with raw materials costs as high as they are, the difference in cost between good and how shall we say, less good, is relatively small.

For more information and prices on the products mentioned please call the office on 01948 661602 and speak to Gareth.


Silage quality this year reflects the exceptionally wet season we have experienced in the North West. Lack of sunshine led to low grass sugars which in turn have led to lower energy levels in forage. For low yielding cows this is not normally a serious problem as increased feed intake driven by appetite will make up the deficit. However even these cows will suffer when silage sugar levels are low.

For high yielding dairy cows coming into milk however the option of boosting energy through forage is not an option as they are normally in energy deficit post calving anyway. Concentrates have traditionally bridged the gap but this depends on a fully functioning rumen capable of dealing with a significant loading of highly fermentable starch. In years where forage quality is good and rumen micro flora develop positively, this is not a problem. But where rumen volume is limited and energy demand is high, looking beyond the rumen to the true stomach the abomasum is what should be considered as well as addressing rumen function wherever possible.

Where energy is limiting, ignoring this demand from high yielding cows who will strive to perform to their genetic potential, will lead to significant problems unless additional energy is provided. Symptoms of low energy include the obvious reduction in milk output and quality, but also because high yielding cows lose bodyweight in early lactation a negative energy balance may impair fertility by delaying first oestrus. This limits the number of cycles before insemination and successful conception is linked to the number of cycles preceding insemination.

High yielding dairy cows have been bred to produce more milk, mostly through their ability to mobilize fat and muscle to support milk production in early lactation. The result is a loss of body condition and is associated with alterations in blood metabolite and hormone profiles which in turn influence fertility. Excess body condition loss can leave the cow vulnerable to poor performance in the following lactation too and a gradual reduction in health through a depleted immune system.

The solution is to maximise all stages of the digestive process, both rumen and abomasum. Feeding a combination product like CS-Plus which contains readily available sugars in the form of glucose and maltose (which is slowly converted into glucose) and a high quality slow release fat source that is slowly released into the rumen maximises rumen function and supports the rumen microflora which would otherwise decline in numbers. The correct balance of oils in CS-Plus both unsaturated and saturated are released later in the abomasum.

The benefits are improved fertility, increased milk and butterfat levels, and importantly for future production, maintained body condition. Fats contain around three times the energy level of cereals and by this careful release mechanism they can increase milk yield and butterfat without affecting rumen function or appetite.

CS-Plus is a GP Feeds Exclusive product so for more information and prices ring Gareth on 01948 661602.


Early reports from this feeding season are that silages are not 'working' as well as they should! Reports from many farms are that cows are eating well and silages appear to have high intakes - usually a good sign - but somehow the benefits are not being seen in the bulk tank. Many nutritionists have commented that despite trying the usual nutritional tweaks, cows are still lacking that 'spark' to get milk really flowing.

It is clear that cows are just not extracting as much energy from their forage as expected. Forages typically contain 45-55% fibre. Fibre is not as well digested and utilised as the other components of the diet (starch, oil, protein etc.). In fact, only 40-65% of fibre is digestible and available for milk production - indicating that a lot of potential still lies 'untapped' within forage!


We have been monitoring 3 local customers, who have been using Amaferm.

Nothing else on the farms has changed feeding wise, other than adding Amaferm into the diet at 100gms per cow per day.

  • Farmer 1 has seen an increase in milk litres by 1.6 litres
  • Farmer 2 has seen an increase in milk litres by 1.9 litres
  • Farmer 3 has seen an increase in milk litres by 2.1 litres

Costing just a 3rd of a litre, it has been very profitable for these 3 customers. Why not give it a try and see the difference it can make for you

The feed additive Amaferm has been developed specifically to improve fibre digestion. In fact, Amaferm is the only feed additive registered in the EU as a digestion enhancer for dairy cows! Amaferm has been proven to increase fibre digestion by around 30% and milk production by an average of 4.8% across 18 peer reviewed scientific experiments.

During the past two winters, many tens of thousands of cows within the UK and Ireland have been converting energy from forage into milk more efficiently thanks to the effects of Amaferm.

With cows not milking as well as expected from forage this winter, Amaferm provides the 'spark' that is needed to get your cows milking.

AMAFERM facts:

  • Stimulates fibre digestion
  • Improves milk yield by an average of 4.8%
  • Proven locally and internationally

For further information please contact the office on 01948 661602 and speak to Gareth.


Forage stocks are currently lower than most farmers would like, therefore most forage extender products are in high demand. We do have available some spot loads of Fodderbeet and Pressed Pulp. Please call the office on 01948 661602 for up to date prices and availability.

We can also offer you our very own unique FORAGE SAVER BLEND formulated from a blend of raw materials especially to extend your silage stocks. Remember this extends forage not replaces it so don't leave it till you run low on stocks before considering this product. It has high levels of rumen friendly fibre from Sugarbeet and Soya Hulls.

  • Can be fed to all classes of Ruminant livestock
  • Contains high levels of digestible fibre
  • Feed at 2kgs per animal per day to replace 10kgs of average quality silage
  • When fed at the above rate it will save over 60 tonnes of silage per month on a 100 cow herd plus followers
  • Only top quality ingredients are included in the ration


Typical Analysis Dry Matter % 27 ME (MJ/kg DM) 13 Protein % 9.0 NDF % 37 Oil % 1.0 Sugar % 6 "

Pressed pulp is suitable for feeding to dairy, beef and sheep (ewes & lambs)

  • Improves the energy density of rations
  • Is useful for supplementing forage when quality and quantity are low
  • Is suitable as a buffer feed
  • Is a natural & traceable product which is UK produced and feed assured
  • Enhances physical nature and 'opens up' total mixed rations
  • Improves animal performance by stimulating and increasing feed intake
  • Good source of digestible fibre
  • Can be clamped with forage
  • Succulent and palatable


  • Should be tipped in a clean dry area.
  • If fed fresh, it should be used within 5 - 7 days of leaving the factory.
  • If being kept for feeding at a later date, it should be ensiled and fully sealed.
  • Remembering to compact as much as possible. Bulk density approx 800 - 100kg/m³ when clamped.
  • Can be pitted up to a height of approx 2m



Maximising intakes can be a challenge, this is where molasses fits into the diet very well. Highly palatable, high in energy and high in proteins and all available from a liquid.


Sweet black liquid that is high in Fermentable Energy and Sugars. This product is 5 times more flowable than standard molasses at low temperatures and improves intakes of all forage types. Very similar to Cane Molasses but has CMS (condensed molasses solubles) added which lowers the dry matter but increases the flowability of the product.

Cane Flow is suitable for inclusion in the diets of all ruminant livestock and can offer a very effective way to increase the palatability of feeds whilst contributing high levels of energy from sugars.

Typical Analysis: Dry Matter 71.5, Crude Protein 5.4, ME 12.7, Starch & Sugars 65.0

Nutrimaize Range

Sweet high Protein liquid feeds (available in 28, 46 or 66 protein levels) which are based on a blend of pure cane molasses and 100% bonded urea (making it fully available to the animal, unlike our competitors who are only 50% bonded). The High Nutrient Density of the Nutrimaize range is designed to make it perfect for high yielding dairy cows. The bonded urea element in the liquid gives a regulated release of energy and protein for Better Rumen Utilisation.

Typical Analysis: Dry Matter 66, Crude Protein 28 / 46 / 66, ME 12.0, Starch & Sugars 62.0

We will as always still be highly competitive on any molasses products you may require.

Please take a little time and have a look at our full range of molasses available...

For more information on molasses please call the office on 01948 661602 and speak to Gareth.



Contains: Sugarbeet, Soya Hulls, Wheatfeed, Maize Gluten, Palm Kernal, Maize Distillers, Wheat and Molasses.

  • Are your silages stock dwindling fast?
  • Do you need to make your silage stocks go further?
  • Struggling to get hold of alternative stock feeds?

Then this is a product you should consider!

  • Feed at 2kgs per animal per day to replace 10kgs of average quality silage.
  • When fed at the above rate it will save over 60 tonnes of silage per month on a 100 cow herd plus followers.

This product is designed to be mixed with a reduced amount of silage - don't wait till you have run out!


Every year, to a lesser or greater extent, problems occur when silage pits are opened and feeding starts. Whether it has been a good year for silage and the sun has shone and high dry matter forage is in the pit or whether it has been a wet and horrible year when we didn't see the sun (like this year) and we have wet forages, the same problems seem to appear each year.

There are countless silage additives on the market, many of them of little value, but a number that have very good attributes and do their job to a certain extent. We know that biological additives improve fermentation, digestibility, in-take and animal performance but we also know that chemical control of aerobic spoilage in silages, has been shown in Kingshay Farming Trust trials, to be more robust than inoculant treatments. They act by killing or inhibiting micro-organisms which lead to typical mould contaminations even in the best made silages. Many of these micro-organisms occur at the top of the clamp where consolidation is not as good as the lower part of the clamp either because it was too dry to roll satisfactorily or the opposite where you daren't roil too much because it was too wet.

In these situations you can get perfect fermentations and a good test result when the silage is analysed, but on feed out you can get the silage heating up and mould forming which can lead to reduction in milk yields, cow health problems, fertility (even death) as well as waste forage that has to be put in the slurry pit. These will all reduce your overall profit margin. Until fairly recently it has not been possible to combine inoculants and acid based preservatives successfully in a single pack due to problems with storage and tank-mix stability.

This has now been finally overcome following five years of research and the development of a true hybrid additive has followed. This product provides all the fermentation and animal performance benefits along with aerobic stability. Your worries about have to buy expensive live yeast products to offset problems, about TMR diets over heating in the trough, loss of silage due to mould contamination and maybe the extreme of losing a very expensive animal could all be a thing of the past. You can produce silage to combat all these problems and obtain a correct fermentation by buying the unique ECOSYL product DOUBLE ACTION ECOSYL (applied at 2 litres per tonne).

Although this product will cost a little more than the conventional additive the benefits you will see and the cost saving made by not buying products to try and balance silage with all the above mentioned problems, will more than pay for itself many times over. To learn more about this unique product and how to buy it for next season at its lowest price, please ring your local GP Feeds Rep or Gareth in the office on 01948 661602.

Remember ECOSYL PRODUCTS have more independent trials than other similar products and they are exported to over 20 countries worldwide, so they know what they are doing!




Gareth or Rachel (Office)
01948 661602 Fax 01948 871776