NZ Dairy Farmer

July 1, 2015

ME Best Predictor of Feed Value?

Feeds for dairy cows are often valued according to their price per megajoule (MJ) of Metabolisable Energy (ME), as energy intake is usually limiting with cows during early lactation.  ME is a measure of the energy available to cows, after losses from undigested feed, urine and methane are accounted for. ME has some limitations as [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
June 1, 2015

Colostrum Quantity & Quantity on Replacement Performance

Recent research has demonstrated how plane of nutrition and diet during pregnancy can affect colostrum production, milk yield and calf health.  Feeding cows to match energy, protein, mineral and vitamin requirements during pregnancy, supports production of colostrum and milk components, essential for the health and development of newborn and growing calves. Research in both cattle [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
May 1, 2015

Importance of Good Transition

It is important to include fixed (land, interest) and variable (seed, fertiliser, sprays) costs in growing and harvesting pasture or crops to properly evaluate cost benefits of using inoculants when preserving forages. Effective lactic acid producing inoculants have been demonstrated, in controlled trials, to reduce dry matter losses by 5->10%, under good ensiling conditions.  Inoculant [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
April 1, 2015

100 Years Progress in Dairy Cow Production and Feeding

There has been considerable change and progress in cow production and feeding over the last 100 years from 1915, which was also when The Danish Mineral Company formed (now Nutritech International Ltd).  There were about 1.1 million people, 634,000 milking or dry dairy cows, 270 butter and 355 cheese factories, producing 31,330 t butter and [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
March 1, 2015

Mineral Types and Availability

There appears to be some confusion regarding the types of minerals, their availability and factors affecting it.  Minerals are usually referred to as being in the inorganic or organic forms, which refers to whether they are bound to inorganic (e.g. chlorides, oxides, sulphates) or organic (contain carbon e.g. amino acids, peptides) elements or compounds. The [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
February 1, 2015

Interpreting Silage Analyses

Fermentation analyses on silage reports are important for assessing silage quality, and provide clues about the silage making process and factors that influenced the quality of the silage such as: plant maturity, crop moisture, ambient temperature, packing effectiveness, silage additive use, face management, relative numbers and kind of microorganisms that control the fermentation process. Silage [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
January 1, 2015

Poor Summer Performance

About this time of year farmers may notice a number of behavioural issues with their stock, along with declines in performance.  Typical symptoms are grouping together particularly where shade is available, and around water troughs, or an increase in temperamental cows that kick off cups during milking.  Peeling skin can occur in severe cases.  Such [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
December 1, 2014

Why use Silage Inoculants and Which are Best?

Farmers often ask if silage inoculants are beneficial when making forage silages, and my answer is yes, irrespective of situation and type of crop.  It is a matter of risk and limiting losses, of dry matter and nutrient value, at every stage in silage making and utilisation. Plants naturally have several varieties of bacteria, yeasts [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
November 1, 2014

Tackling Thermoduric Bacteria in Silages

Thermoduric bacteria are those that can survive high temperatures, such as during pasteurisation, and can cause spoilage in dairy products.  The most common thermoduric bacteria are spore forming Bacillus and Clostridium species, which are widespread in the farm environment. One major route of contamination can be from cows eating soil or poor quality silage, producing [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
October 1, 2014

Strategies for a Lower Payout

Financial cycles are a normal part of agriculture, subject to international factors beyond farmers’ control.  Farmers need sound business strategies to deal with these fluctuations, to ensure their long term future. Large companies used to such cycles, tend to build up equity during positive cycles, and reduce it during negative ones.  Released equity is used [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer