With forage stocks low and growing pressure on margins, dairy producers will be looking to make the most out of grazed grass. However, UFAC-UK is urging growers to focus on balanced supplementation if performance and yields are to be maintained.
“The efficient use of grass by precision feeding can help increase milk from forage, but it is vital that grazing is measured and managed. It can then be balanced with the correct buffer feeding, to maximise dry matter intakes (DMIs) and margins,” said Mike Chown, ruminant technical manager for UFAC-UK.
“We need to consider how we can harness seasonality benefits alongside the nutritional supplementation required to support grazing. We want cows to graze efficiently and to milk in a way that can achieve best returns, through a combination of good quality milk and hitting the profile.
“To maximise forage DMIs, we first need to know what we are feeding, so we should regularly analyse all forages, and balance them with the correct nutrients, such as structural fibre, sugar, starch, rumen protein, by-pass protein and rumen inert fatty acids.
“For example, with the lush, fresh grass in early spring low in effective fibre levels, it is crucial to provide effective structural fibre to complement grazing, to maintain rumen health and milk quality, in particular butterfat,” he added.
Increase feed conversion efficiency
Producers need to optimise the rumen function and health, and UFAC-UK states that a new palm-free fat supplement fits this role in the buffer ration.
envirolac is designed to increase dietary energy density while optimising rumen fermentation and prime liver function. According to the company, it has been proven to help increase milk yields and constituents.
In trials at Nottingham University led by Professor Phil Garnsworthy, initially to find if it could perform as well as calcium soap derived from palm fat derivatives, envirolac was in fact found to increase milk yield and butterfat production, with no impact on DMI.
“Overall, the study found an increase in feed conversion efficiency, therefore the targeted and precision feeding of envirolac can offer significant financial gains, through improved quantity and quality of milk produced and reduced cost of concentrate feeding,” said Mr Chown.
Dairy producers will be familiar with butterfat percentages dipping throughout spring and summer.
“Containing the optimum ratio of C18:1 and C16:0 fatty acids, along with Omega-3 EPA and DHA fatty acids, the balanced fat supplement supa-cream helps optimise butterfat percentages, while improving the immune system and supporting greater reproductive efficiency,” said Mr Chown
“For cows particularly struggling at spring and into summer, the high C16:0 fatty acid (70%) supplement omega cream, will help boost butterfat levels, and is ideal for herds on milk composition-based contracts,” he added.
According to UFAC-UK, the inclusion of glycerine in both supa-cream and omega cream also improve total fatty acid absorption, while providing glucogenic energy to reduce body condition loss.
Mr Chown concluded: “By managing the rumen and feeding balanced fatty acid supplementation while cows are grazing, you will be able to maintain milk yield, herd health and fertility while reducing butterfat depression. All this will support your margins.”
For more information go to www.ufacuk.com