Farmers warned against acidosis risk

Farmers must be aware of lush grass and the acidosis risk, with cows in danger of losing up to two litres a cow a day.

Producers must closely monitor their stock, with popular signs including poor cudding, loose dung, poor intakes and inefficient digestion.

Even relatively low levels of sub-clinical ruminal acidosis (SARA) can substantially reduce rumen fermentation, so keep a close watch for signs of undigested grains or fibre in the dung this spring, explains nutritionist Richard Wynn.

He says the inclusion of at least 0.5kg a cow a day of chopped wheat straw in buffer feeds, and the use of feeds such as sodawheat, sugar beat feed and soyahulls, can help buffer the build-up of excess acid in the rumen.

In cases where acidosis is of high risk or a current problem, in order to prevent the inevitable loss of production, the addition of a high-quality yeast or rumen buffer may be key.

Trials have shown it is possible to increase yields of cows suffering from acidosis by up to two litres a cow a day when they are supplemented with a combined yeast and rumen buffer.

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