14 November 1997

Stimulate higher forage intakes

DAIRY producers must challenge-feed their cows with small quantities of concentrates and allow them to express their potential on forage.

So said independent nutritionist Gordon Newman speaking at the College Network meeting. Using less, but high quality concentrates would stimulate high forage intakes and this year there was enough forage in clamps to allow cows to be challenged in this way.

But Mr Newman stressed that cows could not be challenged to milk from forage when supplemented with poor quality compounds. Concentrates should be low in ash, low in fibre and low in fat – high fat levels depressed forage intakes. He also warned against buying feed additives and fancy minerals that were not needed at a time when costs must be kept down.

Find out whether you have a deficiency and then correct it, he said.