1. Far off Dry Cows

This does not mean out of sight! Don't keep these cows out unless a long way off calving. Provide minerals and vitamins and some form of starch in the diet.

2. Close up Dry Cows

Get onto winter diets containing forages such as Maize and Wholecrop. Use EXCEL DRY COW ROLLS or EXCEL DRY COW MINERALS. Does your dry cow product provide 1000 iu Vit E per day? - Ours does!

3. Autumn Calvers

Damage is being done to autumn calvers having been kept out on lush grass too long. When these cows are housed their performance has been disappointing. Monitoring intakes shows that they are eating 2kg DM per day less than they should be.

4. Housing

Have adequate housing. If cubicle space is short, cows will cut down their eating time to ensure they get sufficient rest, i.e. 12 - 14 hours per day rest time is needed for high yielders, 2 litres per day can be lost if cows don't have sufficient rest.

5. Maize Silage

Maize silages have again been chopped too short by some contractors. Put a handful in a water trough and see how much is floating after 30 seconds. That left floating is the effective rumen fibre (that left at the bottom of the trough is not being used effectively). Early indications are that maize is low in protein this year so check out the diet for balanced protein. Give the office a ring if you want to have your diet checked out.

6. Feet

Keep on top of feet problems, you don't notice lame cows when out at grass. Have a look at locomotion scores (how she walks) and foot shape. Foot bathing is helpful to reduce the risk of digital dermatitis. Copper Sulphate and formulin are a good choice at this time.

7. Vitamins and Minerals

Check out vitamins and mineral requirements to complement your forages and base mix.

Does your milking cow mineral contain over 3,500 iu Vit E per kg? If not give us a ring, because ours does!

8. Quota

Go for it. There is very unlikely to be any problems with quota this year and milk price is over 20ppl on some seasonality contracts. Milk to concentrate price ratio is still very good at about 1.55:1 when it used to be only 1:1. Perhaps this is not the year to worry too much about milk from forage. If an extra 0.55kg concentrate will give you another litre of milk worth 20p, it is good business. However, the diet must be balanced for energy, protein and cudding so give us a chance to check it out.