Good rumen function helps maximise milk from forage and margins

First published:

Length: 100 words; 1 minutes

Hands holding silage image

Maximising milk from forage by balancing rations to best support rumen function is the key to both lower feed costs per litre and higher margins this winter.

Income over feed costs (IOFC) is driven by fine tuning ration ingredients to accurately complement forage nutrient supply, not by using cheaper or less feed.

A sustained fermentable energy supply is vital – many rations need additional sugars to drive microbial breakdown of forage, plus less starch and more fibre to reduce acidosis.

Strategic use of yeasts, buffers and rumen-protected fats is still justified to avoid overloading the rumen, even at current milk prices.

“…many rations need additional sugars to drive microbial breakdown of forage…”

Key facts & figures:

  • Losing 4-5% rumen efficiency can cut a 68D silage to 65D

  • Balance energy, fibre and rumen pH to best support rumen function

  • Best value feeds will lower IOFC1 more than cheap cereals

  • Target 5% added sugars with 2.0-2.5kg/cow of Molale or Rouxminate

  • Swap 2.75kg compound for 5kg Traffordgold to save 15p/cow/day

  • 300g/cow Goldenflake can raise daily yields by up to 2 litres/cow

1 Income over feed costs

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