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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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…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How non-chemical weed control helps self-sufficiency in feed

Oxfordshire farmer Miles Saunders is using allelopathic weed control to suppress weeds on his organic dairy farm. The principle of allelopathy is certain plants release molecules (called allelochemicals) which affect…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Why a spring-calving dairy farmer has bought a feeder wagon

Most spring calving dairy farmers would grimace at the thought of buying a feeder wagon. However, some are spring systems are doing just that in an attempt to extend grazing…

LIVESTOCK

How Co-op’s scheme keeps calves in the supply chain

Food retailer the Co-operative Group is expanding a calf scheme that integrates its dairy and beef supply chains. The scheme provides an outlet for all dairy/beef calves, including dairy bulls…

Forage wagon v precision chop for a multi-cut silage system

Switching from a three-cut silage system to taking smaller and more regular cuts of silage has lifted forage quality at a Welsh dairy farm. But recouping the additional costs of…

Practical advice

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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…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Lower-protein dairy feed could cut costs and ammonia emissions

Farmers are overfeeding dairy cows protein and instead need to look at amino acids in much more detail, according to new research.  “Protein has been overfed. It has been too cheap and used…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice for balancing winter rations based on latest forage analy...

Latest forage analysis results show first and second cuts are good quality with high levels of energy and protein, but farmers do need to watch out for high acid loads…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Early maize harvest presents forage crop opportunities

The early maize harvest in most areas gives growers the opportunity to grow extra forage for utilising early next spring, believes Neil Groom, technical director for Grainseed. “In most areas…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on winter feeding dairy animals amid forage shortages

Dairy farmers face potential feed deficits this winter as the dry spell continues to hamper grass growth rates. But it is not to late to bridge those gaps. Many farmers…

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.…