We continue our discussions on improving efficiencies on farm, something we do constantly - not just when there is market pressure.
Driving efficiency comes through improving animal health and protecting fertility. It's simply not enough to look at one area of the business, improving effciency should come from a collective appraoch with a future proofing focus.
As a starting point, we’re advising our customers to monitor their herds and to:-
- Regulate costs where possible
- Manage lameness
- Manage BCS
- Improve grazing and forage
- Look at how you can do things differently
Don’t take the price of raw materials at face value. With a rising market it’s easy to look at cheaper feed alternatives. However, what may seem more cost effective on the surface, may not be as efficient in providing the additional protein and energy required to maximise production, so could turn out to be a false economy.
Look for the best value nutrients, stripping them out when feed costs rise is the wrong thing to do. Additives play a great role in ruminant nutrition but the ones you may have used two years ago may not be right for you now.
Animal health is central to profitability and cutting concentrates will certainly lead to a dip in production output, potentially costing you more in the long term. Instead speak to us to devise a way of keeping costs at a level to maintain animal health.
Simply if a cow is struggling to walk effectively there will be no motivation for her to make it to the feed trough. Reduced intake means less yield and possibly a deterioration in her body condition. Ask us about our lameness preventation program - Advanced Mobility which is creating a long term path to preventing lameness in herds across the UK. Our program looks at all aspects and data on mobility, rathern than just addressing a single cause of lameness or poor mobility. We use the data and our experience to create a bespoke, targeted, time based action plan for your farm. It's an area of huge potential to improve effeciency on all farms.
Keeping cows at the correct BCS can help to improve health and productivity. Paying particular attention to the variation in scores across the lactation, including dry cows is important. Hitting the right scores during the lactation helps to keep the animal balanced and in good health, otherwise scores below the required level could contribute to a poor immune system and resultant health issues. Good lameness management will also help contribute to maintaining BCS throughout the lactation.
Improve grazing and forage
Look at your plan for grazing across the year and its impact both on the cow’s diet and forage potential for the rest of the season. A consistent quality source of grass silage is an essential part to any base diet. To ensure you are getting the best quality and quantity of silage, again, please talk to us. Consider the use of silage additives not just to preserve but to boost energy levels too. It is shown silage additives reduce dry matter losses, meaning more in the clamp to feed.
Look at how you can do things differently
Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference and it doesn’t always have to cost you a lot of money. It could just be a tweak to the cow’s environment that improves production.
We should never stop trying to improve, cut out waste, optimise output and drive efficiency.
Advanced Nutrition are here to be challegned and to help challegne you to make the most of the opportunities for improvement on your farm - just get in touch!