Know How / Dairy / Feed and nutrition

Managing feed and nutrition to maximise milk output has become a precise science in dairy herds. We have information on grazing management, developments in grass and maize silage and formulating rations with a balanced protein, energy, mineral and fibre content.

Case studies

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GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How farmer gets 11,000 litres from grazed Holstein herd

Wiltshire farmer Robert Mallett and his wife Maria are defying convention by producing nearly 11,000 litres of milk from their autumn-calving herd of grass-fed cows. Like most high-yielding herds, Mr…

DAIRY

How Hampshire dairy has climbed to top 5 for milk production

Consolidating cow numbers has helped one Hampshire herd shoot up 14 places in the NMR annual production report, to clinch fifth place. In what was a tough year for dairy…

DAIRY

How £2.5m dairy unit is improving dry cow management

Good management during the dry period is crucial to promote cow welfare and ensure the profitability of dairy cows in the following lactation. The College of Agriculture Food & Rural…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a Wiltshire estate produces 9,250t of maize a year

Keeping realistic yield targets and focusing on good clamp management has allowed a Wiltshire estate farm to integrate maize successfully into a mixed farming system. Maize plays a critical role…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a farm gets 8,000 litres a cow from 94% home-grown feed

A combination of persistence, innovation and working with nature has helped one organic dairy farmer achieve averages of 8,000 litres a cow from an almost entirely home-grown ration. John Pitts…

BEEF

How Wagyu beef scheme gives farmers stability

Growing demand for Wagyu beef has resulted in the formation of a unique business model, which sees dairy farmers, rearers and finishers paid a guaranteed price for breeding and finishing…

Practical advice

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GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Advice for farmers on multi-grazing hybrid brassicas

Demand for hybrid brassicas reached unprecedented levels in 2018 as livestock farmers sought solutions to meet forage shortfalls caused by the drought. Bred in New Zealand and first grown in…

DAIRY

4 ways top dairy farmers produce 1,000kg of MS a cow

Recent figures show the top 15% of Kite Consulting’s clients are producing between 840-1,000kg of milk solids (MS) a cow a year. Genetic data and management strategies were assessed from…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

6 ways to prevent stale dairy cows

Getting into the habit of giving cows numerous chances to get pregnant can lead to more animals with extended lactations and a negative fertility cycle that is hard to break.…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How to identify and overcome cow issues in the dry period

A leading expert on cow management believes on most farms there is a failure in the transition period, with almost 65% of problems occurring in the dry cow/fresh cow period.…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

Everything you need to know about automatic calf feeders

Many dairy farmers and calf rearers are moving to automatic milk feeders to reduce labour input. We look at what kind of management they require, how to get the best…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on feeding this year's maize as stocks look tight

Initial samples show maize quality looks good, despite the unprecedented growing season during which crops were planted late and had to cope with drought conditions in the summer. Results of…

Insights

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FEED AND NUTRITION

Is it worthwhile feeding supplements to produce more milk?

Feeding supplement to grass-based dairy cows can be profitable but only in a year with high milk prices, a trial in New Zealand has shown. However, feed prices must be…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Cattle bounce back after poor fodder beet growth rates

A project at Harper Adams is investigating if it is feasible to finish dairy-bred beef calves on forage alone.  The project, led by Adas and funded by AHDB Beef &…

LIVESTOCK

Compact feeding lifts milk yields by 1.6 litres a cow

A feeding system that prevents dairy cows sorting concentrates from forage in a total mixed ration (TMR) has been shown to increase average daily milk yield by 1.6 litres a…

FEED AND NUTRITION

What are the benefits of milk replacer for calf rearers?

More than half of all dairy and beef farmers in Great Britain now rear their youngstock on calf milk replacer (CMR) instead of whole milk, with potential disease risks a…

LIVESTOCK

How reducing maize seed rates could save money

Cutting maize seed rates by 5-10% has the potential to lift starch levels by 2-3% and bring harvest date forward by three to five days, according to John Burgess, maize…

How to get stocking rates and nutrition right

Recent research in Ireland has concluded that stocking rate has a minimal impact on fertility rate if nutrition is managed correctly. This, in hand with careful selection, means that increased…

How to save £150 a head by outwintering dairy heifers

Outwintering in-calf heifers is a viable option for high-yielding herds looking to reduce costs and has now been shown to have no negative effect on future milk production and fertility.…