While some herds are performing extremely well, a common comment from many producers is that their cows are "doing ok", but not really producing as they might!

So, what is going on? There appears to be two common denominations

  1. Herds that relied heavily on an abundance of lush, wet autumn grass, especially cows that calved at grass, are generally below par, but we can expect later calves, now on full winter diets to "step up a gear."
  2. It is generally accepted that this years 1st cut silages, which are variable to say the least, are not feeding as predicted. Part of this is protein related, and partly to energy. These shortfalls can largely be made up by "tweaking" the make up of the protein fraction of the diet, including DUP (Digestible Undegradable Protein). Regarding energy, selecting energy sources that offer a range of slow to rapid rumen fermentation rates and a degree of by-pass starch (eg Processed B Maize) should be considered. Also, ensure there is sufficient sugar available, as many grass silages, and of course maize and wholecrop, are inherently low in this nutrient. Sugarbeet / Fodderbeet and / or Molasses should be considered. A final "catalyst" which is working well on many farms is the inclusion of a live yeast to principally help raise rumen PH and promote, significantly, the numbers of fibre digesting bacteria. Typically responses of between 1 to 2.5 litres can be expected for just a 4 pence / cow outlay. Just check that milk ureas are around 0.035(+ / -), and if not adjust the diet accordingly to achieve this.

Here at GP Feeds we have the technology, the products (Compounds, Blends and Straights) and the personnel with the expertise to help you, the farmer to get it right! With milk quota in the position that it is, there is an opportunity to increase production, with minimal risk!