New technology and the development of precise on farm rationing systems can help producers protect and improve IOFC. The diet must be able to meet the cow’s requirements as precisely as possible – no more, no less. This relies on knowing exactly how the rumen bacteria will ferment the feed ingredients, and how the nutrients will then be absorbed and utilised by the animal.
This advanced knowledge is central to Cargill’s DairyMax rationing model that uses the latest nutritional information, either from published research data or from Cargill Animal Nutrition research centres, to continuously refine the animal’s requirements at the most precise nutrient level possible.
Accurate diet formulation
An example of the tool ‘in action’ is its ability to meet the cow’s requirements for selected limiting amino acids required for milk production, and not on nutrients such as crude protein, rumen degradable protein or rumen undegradable protein. This allows for more accurate diet formulation with lower crude protein percentage. With this comes benefits for the cow, the producer and the environment.
Monitoring IOFC is an integral part of feed efficiency on dairy units today. Cutting costs and reducing yields within the same management regime will not see farm efficiency move forward and cuts in feed spec and production levels can have lasting effects.
Taking advantage of precise rationing tools and adding value to the ration to improve its nutritional value can lead to an improvement in IOFC, even if this increases the ration cost marginally. The overall benefit is an improvement in farm efficiency. This leads to a dairy business that is better able to generate savings and take advantage of improved milk prices.
Author: Sylvie Andrieu, ruminant technology manager, EMEA, Cargill