Project wants more milk efficiency

3 May 2002

Project wants more milk efficiency

PRODUCING milk more efficiently is the aim behind two new tools for producers, resulting from the Feed into Milk project.

The first tool is the Feed into Milk Dairy Farmer Software, a ration evaluation program for milking cows, available from the Milk Development Council for £20. It is launched at the same time as a free booklet, published to ensure producers understand the progress made by the new rationing system.

Both these launches follow four years of research, costing almost £1m, as part of DEFRAs LINK sustainable livestock production programme. It was funded by DEFRA, MDC, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (NI), the Scottish Executive and a consortium of commercial companies.

The software brings the knowledge and experience from the whole UK feed sector, says Brian Lindsay, MDC technical manager. "It is a real step forward in our understanding of dairy cow feeding."

The practical rationing system will allow producers to manage cow rations either to influence milk yield or quality, or to cope with changes in the quantity or quality of feed available. Its benefits include more accurate prediction of feed intake than previous UK rationing systems.

The Feed into Milk introductory guide details the background to the new system and explains advances made in dairy cow feeding. It also introduces the concept of decision support systems to help ensure rations and ration changes have minimal impact on rumen function and milk quality.

The booklet will be sent free to all milk producers with extra copies available from MDC (01285-646500, fax 01285-646501). &#42

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