Failing to invest in summer feeding could cut winter production

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Length: 214 words; 1-2 minutes

Image of dairy cows being milked

Failing to adequately support yields and body condition as grass intakes drop through late summer could cut yields by 1.9 litres/cow for the first three months of winter, warns KW senior nutritionist Dr Anna Sutcliffe.

“That’s the potential cost of regaining 0.5 BCS (body condition score) once cows are fully housed, and at 26ppl it represents a loss of around £8,900 for a typical 200-cow herd,” she explains.

“Yet providing the additional energy needed for those cows to retain that condition through the summer can cost as little as £2,500.”

As grass dry matter intake (DMI) drops with falling daylight hours, Dr Sutcliffe therefore recommends splitting the herd. Make cows over 150 days work harder to utilise grazed grass and dry off at no more than BCS 3.0, but increase buffer feed intakes for early lactation cows.

Molale liquid feed image
Molale offers energy, palatability, reduced sorting and a good supply of sugars.

“Moist feeds (Traffordgold wheat-gluten moist feed, brewers’ grains) and liquid feeds (Molale, Rouxmolflo Plus) are ideal to help drive intakes, and if necessary house cows overnight,” she continues.

“Include sugar beet feed or soya hulls to support good rumen function, and for starch consider rumen-friendly options such as Soda Wheat or a confectionery blend like SugaRich Dairy. To help minimise feed costs, switch from soyabean meal to NovaPro heat-treated rapeseed expeller.”

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For more information:

Call 01977 710 940 or email

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