10 May 1996

We are confident of getting good value with no fillers…

FULL feed declaration gives value for money for one Somerset buying group.

farmers weekly Farmer Focus contributor, Marshall Taylor, buys feed through the Farmwell group that takes 2500t of compound each winter on one contract.

"We provide a specification for the compounder to tender for, and they offer us a suggested ration with declared percentage ingredients," he says.

Most companies invited to tender for contracts are willing to supply full ingredient declaration in order to deal with the group. That is on the understanding that the group can maintain its suppliers confidence.

Mr Taylor admits there has to be some tolerance in ingredients used given that prices and availability can change. But he streses that the supplier must come to the group first to agree any changes.

The group employs a nutritionist to ensure compounds are good value and suitable.

"By knowing the ingredients we can have confidence that we are getting digestible nutrients for the cow with no fillers or inferior products," he says.

"There is also a growing need to identify the base ration on the farm that will be either maize or grass silage. Some members seek a high protein compound for maize or a higher protein and energy feed for high yielding cows. To meet these needs different compounds are supplied within the group."

A mid-day feed can be offered to compliment the compound, so avoiding over-feeding any one ingredient when inclusion rates are known, he adds.

&#8226 Good value compounds.

&#8226 No filler ingredients.

&#8226 More balanced rations for cows.

&#8226 Nutritionist employed to check compounds.