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Low milk proteins are signs that your cows are NOT on a rising plane of nutrition
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Low milk proteins are signs that your cows are NOT on a rising plane of nutrition

As cows approach the breeding season, they need to be on a rising plane of nutrition.

 

Low milk proteins are signs that your cows are NOT on a rising plane of nutrition.

 

Currently milk proteins across the Dairygold herd are lower than the 4 year average and the low point is more sustained than previous years.  This type of protein curve is an indication of sustained low energy intakes by our cows.

Periods of excessive and extended low energy intakes lead to BCS loss and poor fertility performance.

 

 

 

How to tackle low energy intakes:

  1. Grazed grass is the highest energy feed you can feed a cow. You must maximise your cows grass intake. To do this we must first grow the grass and we cannot grow the grass without spreading the fertiliser.  During the main grazing season grass needs 1 unit of nitrogen per day.  Index 3 and lower ground will need P and K in April to meet its demands (unless slurry was spread earlier in the spring).  5 bags of sweet 18s in April where P and K are allowed and required will meet your grounds needs.
  2. If your average farm cover is low or if your nearly around your 1st rotation and are facing going back into bare paddocks you must lower your grass demand, slow your rotation and give your farm a chance to recover. To lower grass demand you can increase concentrate intakes.
  3. Feed an appropriate level of concentrates based on how much grass your cows are consuming and your herds milk yield. Higher yielding cows need more energy or more concentrates for the same grass intakes.  Do not force your cows to milk off their back.

*grass alone does not meet a cow’s daily requirement for calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iodine and selenium. Even though a cow’s energy demand might not require concentrates, feeding 1.5kg of concentrates at grass is the cheapest and most effective method of supplying these minerals.

 

  1. Do not over-estimate grass intakes. Over estimating grass intake by 1kg dry matter is the same as lower concentrate feeding rate by 1kg daily.
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