Bretts Ru­mi­nant Support Spe­cial­ists are avail­able to of­fer ad­vice to live­stock farm­ers

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - FARMING MATTERS -

SPRING 2018 will be re­mem­bered as a chal­leng­ing pe­riod for all farms. Ad­verse weather led to rapidly, de­clin­ing silage re­serves, poor grass growth and dif­fi­cult graz­ing con­di­tions. It is im­por­tant to stay pos­i­tive and not make rash de­ci­sions. Our Sales Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Ru­mi­nant Support Spe­cial­ists are freely avail­able to of­fer ad­vice that is tai­lored to your farm so pick up the phone to get prac­ti­cal ad­vice that will help you work through this sea­son.

Fo­cus on body con­di­tion of milk­ing cows

Bretts Ru­mi­nant Support Spe­cial­ists have been con­di­tion-scor­ing milk­ing herds and on a high pro­por­tion of herds they are re­port­ing a lot of cows with a body con­di­tion score (BCS) of less than 2.75. This is mainly at­trib­ut­able to the chal­leng­ing spring and en­ergy in­take has been be­low the op­ti­mum level to main­tain milk yield and milk solids. If cows are on low grass cov­ers then to­tal dry mat­ter in­take suf­fers and cows ‘milk off their back’ and this could im­pact on fer­til­ity per­for­mance. As­sess your herd and con­tact one of our team to de­vise a plan to en­sure cows are on a ris­ing plan of nutri­tion dur­ing the breed­ing sea­son.

Feed­ing must re­main flex­i­ble

Thank­fully tem­per­a­tures are in­creas­ing and ground con­di­tions are im­prov­ing but it is still very weather de­pen­dent. Grass growth is im­prov­ing but cov­ers re­main low and sup­ple­men­ta­tion needs to in­crease if there is a grass deficit. As an ex­am­ple, cows be­ing al­lo­cated 14 Kgs DM of grass per day will only utilise 12.0 Kgs DM and cows re­quire 5.5 kgs of con­cen­trate to support 25 litres. How­ever, if grass in­takes are lower or higher than this then feed level can be in­creased or de­creased re­spec­tively. If cows are in poor BCS sup­ple­ments must be in­creased.

Keep your ap­proach to feed­ing flex­i­ble de­pend­ing on avail­able for­age, grass sup­ply, graz­ing con­di­tions, cow body con­di­tion score and milk yield. Ad­here to max­i­mum feed­ing lev­els rec­om­mended on your feed la­bel. The cir­cum­stances will vary from farm to farm and our Ru­mi­nant Support Spe­cial­ists are on hand to as­sess the sit­u­a­tion of your herd. One com­mon prob­lem is that farm­ers over­es­ti­mate the in­take of grass and if this hap­pens cows will not be ad­e­quately fed.

Bretts Maxi Breeder Cubes are care­fully for­mu­lated to com­ple­ment spring grass, of­fer a flex­i­ble feed rate through­out the breed­ing sea­son and pro­vide all min­eral requirements to cows at this cru­cial time. Maxi Breeder Cubes also con­tain the unique Per­for­mance Im­prove­ment Pack that helps to sta­bilise ru­men en­vi­ron­ment, re­duce the risk of aci­do­sis, utilise valu­able pro­tein in the grass and reg­u­late milk urea lev­els. Supreme Breeder Cubes in­clude Ac­ti­saf Yeast and this works well in tack­ling is­sues where but­ter­fats are drop­ping in milk. For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Bretts 056 77 55300 or con­tact your lo­cal Stock­ist or Sales Rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

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