​Invest in summer feeding or risk loss of yield once cows housed

First published:

Length: 105 words; 1 minutes

Image of dairy cows being milked

Losing body condition due to inadequate feeding as grass intakes drop will cut winter milk income more than the cost of feeding to support autumn production.

Maximum potential from grazing drops to little more than maintenance plus 5-6 litres/cow by mid-September. Higher yielders need additional feed or will use body condition to make up the energy shortfall.

Feed extra energy in the buffer ration, using high quality, high value feeds to maximise energy intake. Use moist (Traffordgold, brewers’ grains) and liquid feeds (Molale, Rouxmolflo Plus) to encourage consumption, plus digestible fibre and Soda Wheat to balance rumen energy.

Key facts & figures:

  • Shortening daylight hours cuts DMI1 in half by mid-September

  • 0.5 BCS2 lost grazing can cut winter milk by 1.9 litres/cow for three months

  • Total cost for typical 200-cow herd equates to around £8,900 at 26ppl

  • Extra summer feeding to retain condition can cost as little as £2,500

  • Feed soya hulls or sugar beet feed to support rumen function

  • Switch from soyabean meal to NovaPro to help reduce buffer feed costs

1Dry matter intake
2Body condition score

Links to feed information:

For more information:

Call 01977 710 940 or email info@kwalternativefeeds.co.uk

Share this article: