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Drive For More Litres In Light of Low Feed Costs

02 September 2014

UK - One of the best milk price to feed cost ratios seen in recent years means it is well worth pushing for extra litres this winter, despite the recent drop in farm-gate milk prices.

Speaking ahead of The UK Dairy Day in Telford, Mole Valley Feed Solution’s head of nutrition, Dr Chris Bartram says careful selection of good value feeds will help promote milk production efficiencies this winter.

“Some feeds are very low cost at the moment. For example at about 12p/kg, cereals are half the cost that they have been at certain times in recent years. At this price, they’re approaching the same cost as grass silage. That brings an astronomical possible milk price to feed cost ratio of 2.5:1 based on an average milk price of 30ppl,” he says.

Dr Bartram advises dairy farmers to see how they can make the most of cost effective cereals and high digestible fibre sources, such as soya hulls. Producers should also consider targeted use of specific amino acids to help boost yields and constituents.

“Amino acids are the building blocks for protein so providing specific amino acids in the diet can provide the cow with what she needs to produce milk protein and increase yields. They can work out very cost effective,” says Dr Bartram.

Paying attention to protein nutrition in the transition period can also help improve subsequent milk yields and quality, while ensuring heifer calves receive the right level of nutrition pre-weaning can impact on future performance.

“These are easy litres. By increasing growth rates before weaning from 700g/day to 900g/day you can improve milk output in the first lactation by 400 litres,” says Dr Bartram.

The Mole Valley Feed Solutions team will be on hand to answer questions on feeding efficiencies on stand number E1 at The UK Dairy Day, taking place on Wednesday 17th September at The International Centre, Telford.

Mole Valley Forage Services and MoleCare will also be able to take questions on soils, fertiliser and general herd health planning.

TheCattleSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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