Late summer feeding the key to protecting winter milk income

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Length: 204 words; 1-2 minutes

Individual dairy cow image

Minimising body condition loss in early lactation cows through late summer feeding is critical if winter production and overall profitability are to be protected, claims KW nutritionist Dr Anna Sutcliffe.

“According to figures from Trouw nutrition, the energy needed to replace 0.5 BCS equates to a daily milk yield loss of 1.9 litres/cow for the first three months of winter,” she states.

“That’s worth around £9,000 for a 200 cow herd, even at 26ppl, and it’s more than three times the cost of the feed needed to maintain condition.”

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

Feeding just 2.25kg FW/cow/day of the wheat-gluten moist feed Traffordgold through September and October would provide the same amount of total energy, but cost less than £2,500, claims Dr Sutcliffe.

“Excess body condition loss also negatively affects fertility, and has been shown to account for 50% of the lameness risk in early lactation, most likely due to thinning of the protective fat pad in the foot,” she adds.

“Keeping feed costs under control is critically important, so focus on feeds that are high value, nutrient dense and encourage intakes, such as brewers’ grains, draff or liquid feeds like Beetmol Flow and Molale.”

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