Announcing the first National Forage Conference Forage

Document Sample
Announcing the first National Forage Conference Forage Powered By Docstoc
Delivering forage and nutrition technologies                                     January 2011

                                        the first
                                        National Forage
                                        Biotal are delighted to be the organisers of the UK’s
                                        first national forage conference,

                                        a must for dairy farmers looking
                                        to re-dress the current decline
                                        in yields from forage being
                                        witnessed in the UK.                   Forage
                                        “With a tightening milk price: feed    Conferenc               e
                                        price ratio, it is vital production     2nd Ma
                                        from forage is maximised, yet          Hartpury Col c h 2 0 1 1
                                                                                           lege, Hartpur
                                        UK production from forage               Glouces                 y,
                                        is declining and this is hitting
                                        profitability,” stresses Biotal
                                        Managing Director Tim Pollock.
                                        “In ten years yield from forage
                                        has fallen by over 700 litres per cow with under 30%
                                        of production in the average herd coming from forage.
                                        This means feed costs have increased by around £70 per
                                        cow. Farmers are more exposed to the increased volatility
                                        in feed prices which is a feature of the feed market.
                                        Producing more from forage is the main way farmers can
                                        offset the impact of rising feed prices.”
                                        The conference is being held at Hartpury College,
                                        Gloucester on Wednesday 2nd March and runs from
                                        9.30 a.m. – 4.00 p.m., including lunch.
                                        “The conference will help farmers develop strategies to
                                        exploit the value of forages and will focus on the various
                                        ways to increase production. An international panel of
                                        speakers will cover subjects including maximising forage
                                        production, ensiling best practice, nutritional strategies
In this issue                           to maximise forage use and cow performance, and the
Monitor maize diets closely   2         economics of high forage systems.”
to reduce acidosis risk
                                        In the afternoon, delegates can visit the College’s 400-cow
Ensuring quality              2         dairy unit and attend a number of practical briefings on
Take a strategic look at      3         various aspects of maximising yield from forage
forage utilisation
                                        The conference costs £30 (incl VAT) for farmers and
Competition Winners           3         £60 (incl VAT) for all other delegates.
Yeast underpins top           4         For further details or to register, call Biotal on
performance                             029 2047 5570 or visit the website

                                                                                              ISSUE 6
                           Roy Eastlake
                                             Monitor maize diets
                                             closely to reduce
                                             acidosis risk
                                             Starch particles in maize are naturally          The proportion of quick (rumen
Changes to the way maize ferments            protected by protein which cannot be             fermentable) starch increases while
during the winter make it important          broken down by rumen fermentation                the proportion of slow starch (rumen
that cow performance is carefully            acids which means the starch is                  bypass) declines.
monitored, as Biotal National                protected from fermentation in the               This increase in quickly fermented starch
Technical Support Manager Roy                rumen. Recent work from Biotal                   increases the risk of Sub Acute Rumen
Eastlake explains.                           confirms that over time this protein             Acidosis or clinical acidosis as the
                                             is broken down by the action of the              increased supply of rumen fermented
The traditional thinking on starch           acids in the silage clamp.
fermentation rate is that much of the                                                         starch leads to a fall in rumen pH.
starch in maize is not fermented in          Once the protein is broken down,                 It is important to take action where
the rumen and is described as slowly         the starch granules fall apart allowing          signs of acidosis are seen. One option
fermented starch. This is a problem          the rumen bugs to degrade the starch.            is to reduce to amount of quickly
as a shortage of rumen fermentable           The longer the grains have been in the           fermented starch from other sources
starch can reduce the population of          clamp, the more the protein is broken            and this can also help reduce ration
rumen microflora and lead to less            down and the greater the increase in             cost. Another would be to add a rumen
microbial protein being available in the     starch degradability.                            specific live yeast to promote fibre
lower gut, resulting in lower milk yields.   Research carried out over the last two           digesting microflora and scavenge the
To overcome this problem and to              years by Biotal confirms the extent              lactic acid excess from rapid starch
maximise the supply of microbial protein     to which maize starch degradability              breakdown, which is often the primary
it is necessary to add some quickly          increases during ensiling (table 1).             cause of acidosis.
fermentable starch sources to the diet        Sample Date        Total Starch    Quick Starch        Slow Starch    Quick Starch as %
such as rolled cereals.                                             % DM            % DM                % DM         of Total Starch
However, over the last few years new          Early November         29.4              2.4              27.0               8.16
research shows that the way maize
                                              Late November          23.5              5.5              18.0               23.4
starch is fermented changes over the
winter, directly related to the time the      Late January           24.8              8.6              16.0               34.7
crop spends in the clamp.                     Early April            27.0              11.0             16.0               40.7

Ensuring quality                             Since it was established in 1983                 Increasingly our work focuses on
       Dr George Payne and Sonia Roebuck
                                             the laboratory has played its part in            ensuring products meet the requirements
                                             developing the extensive range of                on EU legislation, including zootechnical
                                             specialised micro-organisms for use              probiotic live yeast and bacteria as well
                                             in our forage inoculants and rumen               as organic selenium nutritional feed
                                             specific yeast products. Through                 additives in animal feeds. The latest
                                             research we have been able to identify           legislation under EU 1831/2003 which
                                             those strains which benefit farmers              covers all silage additive products
                                             to greatest effect. R&D support has              required dossiers to allow our products
                                             resulted in products now approved                to gain approval. Silage additive products
Technical Manager Dr George                  as zootechnical feed additives for use           not notified to the EU by 8th November
Payne outlines ways in which the             in dairy, beef, sheep, pig and poultry           2010 can no longer be sold on farm.
Technical Department ensures                 systems. Work is on-going and we are             We liaise closely with our technical
the quality and dependability of             currently involved in the development            team in the field to provide a range
Biotal products.                             of environmentally friendly products             of forage analyses for farmers to help
Biotal is an R&D based business              that further improve farm productivity.          them get the most from their forages
and the laboratory is at the heart           Having developed the strains it is               including advice on problems such as
of all that we do for customers.             essential that product quality is                mycotoxin contamination.
It accommodates a fully equipped             maintained via an extensive range                If asked to summarise our role in one
ISO 9001 accredited R&D and                  of quality checks. The laboratory                sentence, it would be that we provide
Quality Control laboratory, both             maintains feed assurance certifications          an assurance that Biotal products
functions being vital if we are to deliver   from UFAS, FAMI-QS, Soil Association             deliver exceptional performance
outstanding products to customers.           and Organic Farmers and Growers.                 on farm.

                              John Bax
                                              Take a strategic
                                              look at forage
John Bax, International Technical
                                              New research shows that the impact                   Table 2 shows the proportions of dietary
Support Manager with Biotal                   of adding Biotal SC gold live yeast is               Nitrogen retained and excreted at
believes improving yields from                greatest when high NDF forages are fed.              different overall crude protein contents.
forage needs to be a strategic                When low fibre grass silage was fed,                 Field trials in the US have successfully
objective for all dairy farmers.              Biotal SC gold increased fibre digestibility         produced daily yields of over 41 litres
“Faced with increasing purchased              by 9.8%, but when a higher fibre forage              from diets of around 14.3% CP.
feed prices, greater price volatility and     was fed the increase was 18.6%. The
                                                                                                   “The US work shows that it is possible
uncertain milk prices, it makes absolute      improvement with maize silage was even
                                                                                                   to feed high yielding cows on lower
                                              more pronounced (see table 1).
business sense to maximise the use of                                                              protein diets. In this work milk nitrogen
the feeds you grow.                           In the slightly longer term Mr Bax believes          efficiency (the proportion of dietary
                                              that improving the efficiency of nitrogen            nitrogen retained in the milk) was
“The starting point when utilising forage
                                              utilisation is another area where increasing         36% which is substantially above
is the rumen environment and we
                                              forage use will have a big role to play.
now know far more about the factors                                                                average results.
influencing the efficiency of rumen           “By 2050 we will need to produce 70%
                                                                                                   “To achieving these sorts of results
fermentation. There is no point making        more food globally and there will be
                                                                                                   forage quality needs to be very good
good forages if the cows can’t use them.”     increased competition between the
                                                                                                   and the diet must be consistent to
                                              human population and animals for protein
Mr Bax stresses the importance of                                                                  avoid daily variations in forage intakes.
                                              sources. There are compelling economic
managing the rumen environment                                                                     “Dairy farmers will be well advised
                                              and environmental reasons for looking to
to promote higher intakes which are                                                                to consider the role forages are
                                              reduce the protein content of dairy diets.”
essential if forage use is to be increased.                                                        playing in their herds and what can
It is also vital to avoid the sub-acidotic    Environmentally any excess nitrogen
                                              in the diet is excreted and as dietary               be done to exploit this resource more,”
conditions which reduce fibre digestion.                                                           Mr Bax concludes.
                                              protein content rises so the proportion
“All the principle fibre-digesting            excreted increases.”
microflora species in the rumen are
adversely affected by low pH, so               Table 1 Effect of Biotal SC gold on NDF degradation in high and low fibre forages
maintenance of a suitable pH is key to                                         Grass silage                          Maize silage
getting the best from forages.
                                                                      Low NDF             High NDF         Low NDF            High NDF
“Well-fermented and palatable forages
are an aid to improving the rumen              NDF Content
                                                                        43.0                66.9              38.5               58.2
environment as they reduce selection in        (%DM)
diets and so reduce acidosis resulting         Increase in NDF
                                                                         9.8                18.6              4.3                23.9
from diet sorting. It is also well worth       degradation (%)
considering adding live yeast to diets.”
                                               Table 2 Protein nitrogen utilisation in dairy diets
“Trials with Biotal SC gold live yeast
show an improved rumen pH in well              Ration CP%                          13.5                16.5            19.4
managed conditions, with even bigger           N intake (g/day)                     483                605              711
responses in stressed animals, and this
                                               N retained in milk (g/day)           173                185              180
has a big impact on the population of
fibre degrading micro-organisms leading        N excreted (g/day)                   310                366              457
to an increase in fibre digestion.”            Milk N as % N intake                36.5                30.8            25.4

Competition winners
The winner of the 42” TV from the prize draw at the Dairy Event and Livestock Show at the
NEC in September is Mr Boffey of Green Farm in Staffordshire.
The lucky winner of a flat screen TV from the South West Dairy Show prize draw is Mr Radford
of Buttermore Farm in Devon.
Congratulations to you both!

                                                                                                                                 BIOTALK | 3
Yeast underpins top performance                                                                 General enquiries
 From Left Paul Broad, Charlie Reeves         The diet comprises grass and maize              Your local Biotal distributor
 and Neville Morrow                           silage, sugar beet pulp, a protein blend                     or
                                              and a C16 fat and the ration is formulated             Biotal Limited
                                              to give M+20 litres. A 22% cake is fed for           Collivaud House
                                              yield above this through the parlour. High              Ocean Way
                                              yielders also have access to out of parlour                Cardiff
                                              feeders. The overall fed rate is 0.35kg/l.               CF24 5PD
                                              Biotal SC live yeast had been included                United Kingdom
                                              in the diet along with the farm minerals.           Tel: 029 2047 5550
                                              “We want to ensure that rumen pH                   Fax: 029 2047 5598
Diet consistency and a focus on               is controlled and a live yeast helps             Email:
rumen health are the foundations              improve the effectiveness of fibre
of success for one leading Cornish            digestion,” comments Robin Hawkey                 Regional Contacts
family dairy farming business                 of Cornwall Farmers.
                                                                                             Scotland & North East England
Neville and May Morrow run the 230            Four years ago the decision was made                    Chris Totten:
head Maymor herd near Ladock with             to change to Biotal SC toxisorb,                       07775 538073
their son Irwin, daughter Wendy and son-      which combines live yeast with a                      Mark McFarland:
in-law Paul Broad. The herd was the top       mycotoxin binder. “Some particularly                   07899 790990
Holstein herd in the UK for fat and protein   dry silage had been made and we had
production in 2008/2009 and currently                                                                   Wales
                                              concerns about heating and mycotoxins
averages 10,500 litres at 4.17% fat and                                                              Gareth Jones:
                                              so Robin recommended toxisorb,”
3.23% protein.                                                                                       07866 315684
                                              explains Paul Broad.
The calving interval is 403 days with 47%                                                           N Ireland & Eire
                                              “Adding toxisorb we saw no negative
conception to first service.                                                                        Dave Prothero:
                                              impact from the dry silage and have kept
                                                                                                     07884 312391
At the heart of the system is breeding        it in the diet ever since, adding 25g/cow/
with the aim of producing cows with a         day to the TMR. We are confident it helps           North West England
good top line, good legs and feet and         keep the rumen settled and this is vital if             David Wilde:
excellent udders and the capability to        we are going to achieve our target yields.            01697 344643
produce good yields. “We want to milk         “We see little variation in dung quality         Staffordshire, Derbyshire
good cows and this gives us great job         which is a good sign. We have discussed                 & Yorkshire
satisfaction,” comments Neville Morrow.       taking it out of the diet but our view is               Gary Copley:
“we not only breed for milk, but feed         that while we may see no effect for a                  07730 660321
for it aswell.”                               few weeks, it would take a long time to                  Cheshire
The all year round calving herd graze by      correct any problems we did see in yield,              Jayne Dandy:
day during the summer and have access         fertility or cow condition.                            07825 547642
to silage or TMR at night. According          Cornwall Farmers’ Charlie Reeves
to Neville Morrow the key to good                                                             West Midlands & Cotswolds
                                              comments: “Live yeast helps digestion                 Dave Prothero:
production is consistency. “The basic diet    while the MOS inclusion in the toxisorb               07884 312391
has remained unchanged for three years        is a really good ‘safety net’ against any              Sam Phelps:
and we target a high dry matter percent       mycotoxin challenges that might occur.”               07884 312382
and good quality forages. We try and
keep the daily routine consistent as well                                                        Wiltshire & South East
since this helps the cows.”                                                                           John Thomas:
Over winter the milking cows are housed                                                              07951 595008
as one group and are fed twice daily to                                                            Devon & Cornwall
encourage high intakes and ensure fresh                                                             Steve Symons:
feed is in front of the cows. Troughs are                                                           07786 915949
cleared out regularly as required.                                                                Somerset & Dorset
                                                                                                     John Cryer:
                                                                                                    07884 312393
                                                                                                     East Midlands
                                                                                                    Jonathan Barton:
                                                                                                     07889 475800

4 | BIOTALK                                                                                 www. bi o tal. c o.u k