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

See all

DAIRY

How a low-cost system helped Cornish dairy treble herd

Developing a low-cost, grass-based system has brought two key benefits for a Cornish family that is on course to quadruple cow numbers in six years. Not only does the grass-based…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a dairy herd managed drought with 6.5p/litre feed cost

Strict control of parlour feeding and a tight autumn-calving block saw a Cornish dairy through the 2018 drought with a total purchased feed cost of 6.52p/litre. Because peak lactation happens…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a Gloucestershire herd makes MOPF of £1,656 a cow

Producing quality silage and block calving in the summer are allowing a Gloucestershire dairy to hit a margin over purchased feed (MOPF) of £1,656 a cow (27p/litre). The crossbred herd…

WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

What’s in Your Livestock Shed? visits a Gold Cup winner

What makes a Gold Cup winner? We look at some of the buildings and technology behind Washfold Farm’s success. Metcalfe Farms in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, is owned and run by…

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…

Practical advice

See all

FEED AND NUTRITION

3 tips on feeding fats in dairy rations

Carefully thinking about the ratio of different fatty acids in the diet at specific stages of lactation could bring big benefits to dairy performance, according to the latest US research…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

How to manage body condition in overfit cows

Farmers are being advised to carefully manage cow body condition with anecdotal reports suggesting an increased number of caesarean sections due to overfit cows. Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service (FAS) says…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Q&A: Growing and feeding drought-tolerant lucerne

Lucerne is a deep-rooted, nitrogen-fixing crop that has seen a surge in interest among livestock farmers looking for a drought-tolerant fodder option. Sam Lane, technical manager at Cotswold Seeds, and…

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.…

Insights

See all

FEED AND NUTRITION

Research shows benefits of pair housing calves pre-weaning

Pair housing calves before weaning can help them adapt better to different situations as they mature, leading to improved concentrate intakes and higher growth compared with those housed alone. Professor…

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.…