Farmers are being advised to use moist feeds to replace concentrates this winter to improve feed intakes, increase milk output and reduce costs.
Better silage volumes this year have taken the pressure off moist feed supplies, creating the opportunity to use them in the way that delivers their best value – as a concentrate replacer, believes Richard Wynn, KW ruminant technical development manager.
“Moist feeds can improve ration palatability, drive intakes and increase margin over feed,” he says.
The optimum dry matter for maximising intakes is considered to be 45-50%. Therefore moist feeds such as brewer’s grains and draff will be particularly useful where silages are drier or large volumes of dry concentrate are fed, he says.
“Remember, it’s the nutritionist who decides how a moist feed is used in the ration, not the cow,” adds Dr Wynn. “So this year, use moist feeds to complement your silages, not replace them, and maximise intakes to really make the most of the current milk price.”