2 April 1999

NIR feed intake check

IT is possible to identify which cows in a dairy herd are most efficient using NIR technology, which is more commonly used for silage analysis.

Better indication

Phil Garnsworthy of the University of Nottingham said that scanning cows faeces gave a much better indication of a cows feed intake of forage or a mixed diet than measuring the feed.

It is easy to measure output of milk yield, but more difficult to measure feed intake on farm. The prediction using NIR is 80-100% accurate, and is most accurate for forage alone. But it requires access to a correctly calibrated NIR machine, only currently available at Nottingham.