Effective and accurate feeding critical to maintain summer fertility

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Length: 100 words; <1 minutes

Getting summer calvers back in calf can be challenging for grazing herds, and improved buffer feeding is vital to fully support both yields and fertility.

Grass intakes and feed value are falling at a time when the nutrient demands of summer calvers are still climbing. Increasing pressure on cows, staff and infrastructure has added to the challenge, with herd fertility suffering as a result.

With nutrient supply from grazing declining, buffer feeding has to be increased to make up the shortfall. Closely monitor grass intakes, and adjust buffer and concentrate feeding daily to ensure cow requirements are fully met.

Key facts & figures:

  • Grazing only supporting M+5–6L by mid-September

  • Summer calver pregnancy rates 55–70% versus 85–92% for winter calvers

  • CI1 prolonged by even 12 days loses equivalent of 0.3ppl2

  • Use Traffordgold, brewers’ grains or draff to raise energy intakes

  • Add Goldenflake if extra energy needed above that supplied by rumen

  • Balance grass protein by including NovaPro for more rumen-bypass protein

1 Calving index

2 Based on annual yield average of 10,000 litres/cow

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