18 September 1998

PROGRAM TAKES BITE OFF COSTS

FORMULATE least-cost diets for dairy cows with FeedByte, a new computer rationing program from SAC.

Developed by SACs nutritional experts using the latest scientific knowledge, FeedByte helps maintain healthy cows by providing a balanced diet while keeping feed costs down, says SAC dairy consultant Jimmy Goldie.

The computer program, which runs on the operating system Windows, allows winter rations too be planned based on forage quality and availability.

The program uses the Metabolisable Protein rationing system, which has been in use in the UK for over five years. But it differs in that it calculates the quantities of feeds needed to supply cows energy and protein requirements at least cost, within appetite limits. Most current programmes need the consultant to enter a feed rate for each ration ingredient.

"But a least cost ration is not always the best," admits Mr Goldie. Thats when hand steering the ration to allow a minimum inclusion rate for a particular feed is used.

FeedByte also includes an accurate prediction of stock appetite using silage intake factors from SAC silage analysis results, based on research, says Mr Goldie.

If you would like to try out FeedByte, take a silage analysis and feed prices to the DRC stand in the Spotlight on Profit marquee.