Advances in feeding and nutrition

This year’s Dairy Event and Livestock Show on 6-7 September will see many new products and services being launched to aid the livestock sector. Some of the advances in feeding and nutrition are listed below:

Feed calculator

A new diet calculator has been created to help dairy farmers tackle feed price volatility and improve their margins. The NWF Target feeding calculator from NWF Agriculture calculates precise feed rations for different yield groups, with the option of reducing the value of outside feed and increasing concentrate fed on an individual cow basis.

Feed Efficiency Guide

FE GuideA new guide is being launched to help dairy farmers understand feed efficiency and improve feed use and margins in their herds. The Keenan Definitive Guide to Feed Efficiency in Dairy Herds (pictured)is available free of charge to all dairy farmers. It contains information on factors impacting on feed efficiency including cow health, genetics, cow environment, ration formulation and feed presentation.

Calf feeding

A new calf feeding approach to increase lifetime performance from dairy cows is being launched by Frank Wright Trouw Nutrition. The Metabolic Programming approach proposes feeding calves 150g/l of a high-quality skimmed milk based milk replacer – an increase on the average 100-125g/l currently fed. Ruminant technical adviser Amanda Sutton said the extra feed costs (double the normal system) would be recuperated in better performance worth up to £148 a cow a year.

Fat supplement

A new palm oil-based fat supplement from sustainable sources is being launched by Volac. Megapro 30S contains 30% fat and 23% protein with an ME concentration of 19 MJ/kg DM. Volac’s Dr Richard Kirkland says the supplement is designed to improve production efficiency, with the added benefit of reducing methane emissions because the protected fat is not fermented in the rumen.

Calf pre-biotic

A new calf electrolyte containing a pre-biotic is being launched by G Shepherd Animal Health. First Thirst Calf Electrolyte can be used with milk in mild and moderate cases, and on its own in severe cases where milk has been withdrawn. Treatment costs are approximately £4 a calf for a mild case, £6 for a moderate case and £10 for a severe case.



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