Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Herbage testing for herd nutrition assessment


13 August 2012

Herbage testing for herd nutrition assessment

Total nutrition including energy, protein, macro and micronutrients during calving and early lactation is critical to cow health while also determining milk production both this year and next.

Animal Nutrition Manager from farm nutrition company Altum, Jackie Aveling, says that an energy deficit in this period could impact cycling and conception rates, so it is important to provide a high quality balanced diet to meet nutrient needs.

“One of the best methods to determine if a herd is consuming adequate nutrients is herbage testing to pinpoint any limiting factors in the diet in combination with analysis from other supplementary feeds.”

Dairy pasture data collected over the last five years from thousands of Altum clients has been statistically analysed to a 95% confidence interval by region, element and month to confirm seasonal trends:

Potassium levels are higher over winter and spring, then trend down over summer.
Magnesium and calcium — both key elements for the lactating cow — trend lower in winter and spring.
The majority of trace elements trend lower over the spring period as pasture growth increases, with a few exceptions.


“In a forage based diet, pasture potassium levels exceed the needs of calving and lactating cows.

“Potassium can negatively impact the availability of magnesium in the cow which increases the risk of milk fever. Identifying pasture potassium and magnesium levels will help farmers plan an effective supplementation programme,” says Jackie.

“A robust supplementation programme includes a combination of methods including high quality magnesium directly provided to the herd through water, dry cow molasses lick blocks and pasture dusting.”

Sodium can increase magnesium uptake in cows and provides other health benefits.

“For optimal health and maximum production balance is the key. These are just some of the factors that a pre-calf and early lactation herbage analysis can pick up.

“Detailed analysis of the herbage test taken at the correct time will assist in identifying a direct supplementation programme, which then can be implemented to remedy the shortfalls and give the herd a better chance of reaching its optimum production potential.”

Mrs Aveling says this can also be linked to a fertiliser programme, which provides a method to introduce a background dose of important elements such as magnesium and selenium for stock.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Maritime Union: Deepening Supply Chain Crisis Requires Action

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says the global COVID-19 pandemic exposed pre-existing weaknesses in our logistics sector, and created enormous problems... More>>



Air New Zealand: Employees Recognised With $1,000 Share Award

The efforts Air New Zealand employees made during one of the airline’s toughest years will be recognised via an award of $1,000 worth of company shares to all permanent employees... More>>

Consumer NZ: Bank Complaints On The Rise, Survey Shows

Nearly one in five Kiwis had a problem with their bank in the past year, Consumer NZ’s latest satisfaction survey finds. Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said the number of bank customers reporting problems had jumped to 18%, up from 11% in 2020... More>>

Mercury: Enters Into Binding Agreements To Acquire Trustpower’s Retail Business

Mercury NZ Limited (Mercury) has announced that it has entered into binding agreements with Trustpower Limited (Trustpower, NZX:TPW) to acquire Trustpower’s retail business for NZ$441 million... More>>

ALSO:


ASB: New Zealanders Missing Out On Hundreds Of Millions In KiwiSaver Government Contributions

New Zealanders have just over a week to ensure they’re eligible for the maximum annual government KiwiSaver contribution... More>>


Stats NZ: GDP Climbs 1.6 Percent In March 2021 Quarter Following December Dip

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 1.6 percent in the March 2021 quarter, following a 1.0 percent fall in the December 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today. "After an easing of economic activity in the December quarter, we’ve seen broad-based growth in the first quarter of 2021... More>>