NZ Dairy Summer 2021

80 | nzdairy Agrifeeds specialise in providing RURAL SERVICES » Agrifeeds With summer milk production targets top of mind right now, farmers need to be looking closely at intake quality, quantity and feed conversion efficiency as key drivers when it comes to maximising returns. Small changes can make a significant impact towards achieving a balanced diet and improving bottom line. Optimising dry matter intake (DMI) and converting to profitable milk are non-negotiables during mid-lactation. How much a cow can eat, her maximum DMI, is largely dictated by the amount of NDF (or total plant fibre) she can process through her rumen in 24 hours. Nutritionists suggest that the maximum NDF a cow can eat in a day ranges from 1.2% to 1.5% of her live weight. At this time of year, NDF levels are high in typical NZ pastures as a result of ryegrass having formed seed heads in spring. As pastures mature beyond the three-leaf stage, energy and protein in the grass will also be falling as NDF rises. Farmers need to keep a close eye on all of these factors that can negatively impact on the amount of feed cows can physically ingest “This is one of the critical times you should be leveraging Feedscan insights, especially those that can demonstrate changes over time,” says Agrifeeds spokesman Greg Aspinall. He observes that a typical 500kg cow can process 6kg to 7.5kg of NDF in 24 hours. If a farmer were to be offering her soft, leafy high quality pasture with a 35% NDF level, she would conceivably be capable of ingesting 17 to 21kgDM. If the pasture was to form seed head with a 50% NDF level, he says the same cow would only be capable of ingesting between 12 to15kgDM. This represents a 40% reduction in the amount of feed she could physically ingest. Fortunately, Agrifeeds has the products and expertise to address the diet imbalance. The team is well-equipped to assess your herd’s feed requirements. A typical 500kg cow can process 6kg to 7.5kg of NDF (or total plant fibre) in 24 hours. • to page 82 Supplying custom feed supplements direct to farmers at wholesale rates BOOST PRODUCTION - BOOST PROFITS Andrew Morrison 021 0880 7333