Minimising substitution rate key to maximum buffer feed returns

First published:

Length: 100 words; <1 minutes

With current milk prices offering the opportunity for most to boost profits, understanding how to maximise returns from buffer feeding is critical this autumn.

As long as the extra feed cost is less than the value of milk produced, then there’s potential to increase production. The key is to minimise substitution rate to keep grass intakes and milk-from-forage as high as possible.

Buffer ration palatability, optimising sward quality and careful timing of grazing and buffer feeding are all critical. High value feeds will reduce additional feed costs per litre, and accurately balancing the nutrients in grass will maximise feed efficiency.

“The key is to minimise substitution rate…and…maximise feed efficiency.”

Key facts & figures:

  • High quality buffer feeds cost just 15ppl but can deliver 27ppl of milk

  • Extra £2,300/month IOFC1 for 200 cows eating 3kg DM/cow/day more buffer

  • Feed choice, buffer palatability and balance of nutrients critical to success

  • Moist and liquid feeds boost palatability and intakes, and lower substitution

  • Use KW Sodawheat or Molale to supply extra energy with a low acidosis risk

  • Digestible fibre from Traffordgold will support butterfats and rumen function

1Income over feed costs

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