What are your challenges in feeding the organic dairy cow. By Peter Griffin. Topics to be covered. Raw materials and Supply Forage availability and quality Dietary imbalances and common dietary shortfalls What research needs to be done going forward?. Raw materials and Supply.
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By Peter Griffin
Store crops separately or layer the clamp so its consistent when fed through the winter
“If you can't measure it you can't manage it” if you struggle with grazing rotation invest some time and money in the infrastructure, grass will always be the cheapest feed
Measuring the clamps and getting the dry matter levels of the forage so you can forward predict if you a) need to buy forage or b) need to sell cows
When purchasing forage make sure you get a forage analysis done to help negotiate on price and also assess it against other purchased feeds
If you can grow grass well make sure thatis your priority. Often, trying to grow wholecrops or root crops on marginal ground can be expensive with no yield benefits
Set a budget to help keep pasture in A1 condition. Dairy herd profitability is directly linked to good forage quality
Source: McDonald et al, 2002; Munford 2013
Make sure you have taken the time to fully assess all protein sources available and contact a nutritionist to help get the best protein balance available for you
Work with your feed suppliers to try and find more protein sources which can help control ERDP content in the diets
Where possible try to keep forages which are very high in protein separate and ration them accordingly
Do not be afraid to look at alternative protein sources which might cost more, generally the cost will be recuperated from better animal performance
Source: Hi Peak Feeds
Try to get a blend of cereals used on farm so you can get different fermentation rates in the rumen.
Be careful with starch load on the rumen keep starch levels in complete diets between 15% to 18%
Bulk molasses are available on farm or through feed manufactures. Greater demand would help to generate more competition and make it more cost effective
When looking at diets keep the basic principles of nutrition covered. Most winter diets lack simple sugars which can make a big difference to rumen function. Look at molasses and fodderbeet as possible options
1a, rapidly soluble fraction as measured by washing loss from bag (g/kg starch); b, potentially degradable fraction (g/kg starch); Kd, constant rate of potentially degradable fraction (h-1); ED, effective rumen degradability (g/kg Starch) measured at outflow rate (Kp) at 0.02, 0.05, 0.06, and 0.08 h-1.
2SEM: standard error of means.
3Values in the same column with different letters (a-f) differ at P<0.05. NS, not significant; ***P<0.001.