DAIRY - Important Winter Feeding Decisions
1 Nov 2016
Unfortunately, silage quality this year has been extremely variable with a large proportion of 2nd cuts in particular coming back very low in ME and feeding as such. This will not only reduce the energy density of the ration but also limit how much silage we can feed without reducing intakes and cow milk performance. The only option to maintain cow energy status is to feed more concentrates. The problem is that the double effects of a poor quality global
grain harvest and a de-valued Sterling post-Brexit means that straights prices look to be quite high this winter.
So what can we do?
Even though the straights market is looking dear, the lowest cost raw material available this winter will be on our own doorstep – local or home-produced cereal. Feeding this cereal will easily make up for the lack of energy in the silage but will do nothing to reduce your bought-in protein costs and feeding at high levels could pose an acidosis risk, especially if the silage is also high in lactic acid.
The most economical solution is to treat this grain with Maxammon. After clamping for two weeks, the result is an alkaline grain with a pH of 9 (compared to propcorned cereal with a pH of 4.5) that is also 30% higher in protein (typically 16-18% protein, DM basis). Feeding grain as Maxammon grain allows you to safely feed up to twice the level of untreated grain without any increase in acidosis risk. The extra protein carried in the Maxammon grain also means that for every 5kg of Maxammon grain that is fed you can remove 0.75kg of rapeseed or wheat dark grains from the ration – significantly reducing your bought-in protein costs.
Further to this, recent independent work carried out in Norway has shown that replacing dried grain with Maxammon grain improved overall ration digestibility by 3%, which for an M+25 litre ration equates to an extra litre of milk from the same feed intake. The fact that rumen pH is also higher when feeding Maxammon means that more fibre is digested and more microbial protein is produced, resulting in a higher yield of milk butterfat and protein and an improvement in milk value.
As well as enabling producers to treat and feed their own grain with Maxammon, Harbro can also supply ready treated grain (maize, wheat, barley and oats) and for the first time also in a blend – Maxammon Rumiblend.
Based on a mixture of different Maxammon cereals, along with sugar beet, soya and wheat dark grains, these powerful, high starch blends are extremely high in energy and quality protein and will out perform any comparative blend currently on the market. The fact that these blends are alkaline will not only help maintain rumen pH and improve milk quality but in units that also have issues with sorting, Maxammon Rumiblend effectively buffers itself and so the risk of acidosis from sorting is significantly reduced. Cows appear more settled, dung quality is improved, intakes are higher and milk performance is increased.
For more information on Maxammon and the potential of Maxammon Rumiblend for your business, then contact us