Think value not price when planning for spring turnout

Think value not price when planning for spring turnout

With many dairy units now looking to turn out cows as soon as possible to help boost margins, farmers should be focused on ensuring cows perform to their optimum to get best returns, rather than cutting corners, urges nutritional supplement manufacturer UFAC-UK.

To promote efficient use of grass to support healthier and more productive cows, and therefore higher margins, investment rather than cost cutting is the best strategy.

“Rather than asking what savings can be made by making cuts, flip the coin and consider what returns might be achieved from carefully selected feed inputs,” says Mike Chown, UFAC-UK technical ruminant manager.

“Perhaps more pertinently, you should ask yourself ‘how much do I risk losing if I cut something out?’, the answer invariably is that the potential loss will far exceed any saving,” he adds.

Mr Chown advises farmers to focus on what they want the cows to achieve, and consider how they can harness seasonality benefits alongside the nutritional supplementation required to support grazing, if they are to maximise the price received from contracts and increase margins.

“While undoubtedly turning cows out can help reduce costs, we want cows to graze efficiently and to milk in a way that can achieve those best returns, through a combination of good quality milk and hitting the profile,” he explains.

“We also need to increase the prospects of keeping the cows on profile in the future, which means getting back in calf,” he adds.

Mr Chown says it requires a change of mindset and strategy in the selection of feed inputs this spring, with the need to address limiting factors, such as grass nutritional value and supply, when cows are turned out.

“Will you get the performance you desire by cutting feeds costs or feeding cheap feeds? I doubt it,” he continues.

“The chances of achieving the required level of performance will come from feeding the right feeds for your situation, and working on return on investment, rather than price.”

Mr Chown says suitable adjustments and additions to dairy diets can have a big impact on performance, health and fertility, and therefore margins.

“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.

“Equally, if you feed for a return, then correctly balanced fat supplements have an essential place in diets, particularly as maintaining milk quality, fertility and mobility can be a challenge when cows go to grass,” he adds.

As fats are involved in many functions in the cow, it is important to understand what to look for, and to select a correctly balanced fat supplement that meets your own herd requirements. The UFAC-UK team delivers efficient and effective diets, and is happy to advise on dairy rations at turnout.

Related Stories

...

Palm-free fat supplementation research results revealed at DairyTech 2022

Results have the potential to transform dairy sector performance and sustainability credentials

By UFAC in Latest News

...

UFAC-UK announces CIEL supported ruminant research partnership project with University of Nottingham

Nutrition and supplement company UFAC-UK has partnered with the University of Nottingham for a CIEL supported research project…

By UFAC in Latest News

...

UFAC-UK joins forces with the industry to help promote sustainability of dairy farming

It is anticipated UK agriculture will come under the spotlight at COP26, which is why it is important to shout about the good work the dairy industry is doing to reduce emissions from what is already quite a low level.

By UFAC in Latest News

...

Key component of bull ration helps achieve top price

A high energy fat supplement is one of the key components of the bull ration that has brought pedigree Limousin breeder Ian and Wendy Callion’s season to a head, with the achievement of top price at the British Limousin Cattle Society’s summer sale at Borderway Mart…

By UFAC in Latest News

News

Stay up to date with our latest news & product updates


Palm-free fat supplementation research results revealed at DairyTech 2022

By UFAC in Latest News



UFAC-UK announces CIEL supported ruminant research partnership project with University of Nottingham

By UFAC in Latest News



UFAC-UK joins forces with the industry to help promote sustainability of dairy farming

By UFAC in Latest News



Key component of bull ration helps achieve top price

By UFAC in Latest News



Palm-free alternative for optimum dairy performance

By UFAC in Latest News



Optimising milk from forage to increase margins requires precision feeding

By UFAC in Latest News



Don’t compromise dairy performance by underestimating mycotoxin contamination

By UFAC in Latest News



Getting supplementation right improves dairy efficiency, performance and profitability

By UFAC in Latest News



UFAC-UK appoints Richard Lapthorne as part of exciting development plans

By UFAC in Latest News



Pre-tupping advice

By UFAC in Latest News