3 May 1996

High protein and less cake

HIGH protein concentrate can be used to reduce cake feeding while maintaining milk yield.

Dr Sinclair Mayne suggested offering 5kg a day of a 34% protein concentrate, alongside high digestibility, high intake grass silage as the best route to cutting feed costs. This feeding regime could support 27-28 litres a day yields with high genetic merit dairy cows, he said.

Straight feed option

The second option is to use low-cost straight feeds such as maize gluten, rape distillers, citrus and beet pulp.

Research had shown that straight maize gluten has 95% of the feed value of a standard 18% concentrate.

Dr Mayne predicted that a fall in the milk price would see a return to using more of these straights feeds which had been overlooked as milk price had increased. &#42

&#8226 High merit cows respond better than medium merit to extra concentrate feeding.

&#8226 Alternate forages offer considerable advantages over a good grass silage and concentrate system.

&#8226 Investment in rapid wilting techniques will dramatically increase milk production.