NZ Dairy Farmer

September 1, 2014

Silage Inoculants – Investment or Expense?

There is a tendency to undervalue silages, both in terms of feed value and the true costs of growing and ensiling them.  Consequently, many farmers do not pay enough attention to making and using them for maximum benefit. The cost of land has to be included when calculating growing costs.  If debt free, then opportunity [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
August 1, 2014

Types of Protected Fats

High energy levels in fats make them useful for boosting energy intakes of cows, to increase production, improve fertility or condition at key times during the year.  Unsaturated fats can be toxic to rumen microbes at high concentrations, so may adversely affect fibre degradation.  Therefore, supplementary fats must be “protected” from rumen activity if they [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
July 1, 2014

Coccidiosis Control in Milk Fed Calves

Clinical and subclinical coccidiosis in calves can result in significant financial losses, as a result of poor health, ill thrift, lost condition and weight, and severe cases death. Even under rigorous hygiene regimes, calves may be exposed to the coccidiosis causing protozoan parasites soon after birth.  This is because the coccidia oocytes shed by infected [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
June 1, 2014

Benefits of Good Transition

Some of the biggest opportunities to increase production efficiency and reproductive health come from supporting dairy cows as they “transition” from late pregnancy to early lactation.  Whilst many traditional systems have taken a “hands off” approach to the transition period it is now generally considered to be the most critical time of the year, with [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
May 1, 2014

Feeding Fodder Beet

Fodder beet is becoming a major wintering crop for dairy cows, particularly in southern regions of the country.  This seems to have been driven by the potentially high yields achievable (20-30 t DM/ha) and its high energy content (bulbs 12 -13 MJ/kg DM; leaves 10-11 MJ/kg DM). However, some farmers have had issues when grazing [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
April 1, 2014

Facial Eczema risk peaks between March and April despite cooler nights

Data collected by Assure Quality since 2005 highlights a marked elevation in spore counts during March and April, even though air temperatures start to decline.  Although cooler nights have traditionally signalled the end of zinc dosing for many farmers, what these graphs (below) show us is that there is still a significant risk of disease [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
February 1, 2014

Maize & WCC Silage Making

High dairy payouts have encouraged more use of maize and whole crop silages, to increase milk yields by balancing diets, filling feed gaps, maintaining pasture cover, extending lactations, and increasing condition on cows.  Silages need to be made and conserved well, and used efficiently to generate increased profits for dairy farmers, as they are not [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer
January 1, 2014

Roles of Zinc and Copper in Preventing Facial Eczema

Facial eczema is a disease of the liver caused by the toxin sporidesmin.  Not all animals affected show physical signs or symptoms, yet unseen liver damage can limit performance long after facial eczema (FE) season. Production losses caused by FE are often greater than they appear. Even if liver damage is insufficient to cause clinical [...]
NZ Dairy Farmer