A dairy marketing consultant at Kite Consulting has mentioned that checking mineral ranges in transition cow diets has by no means been so essential.
Maimie Sloan mentioned that, with the continuing results of final 12 months’s distinctive climate and straw and forage shares disappearing rapidly, many dairy producers have struggled with rationing their herds, and transition cow diets are on the highest threat.
Farmers can not afford to let this influence transition diets and the well being of dry cows, she mentioned.
“Final 12 months’s harvest situations resulted in elevated ranges of potassium in straw and grass silages throughout the UK, placing many dry cow rations susceptible to inflicting issues with rising milk fever circumstances,” she mentioned.
“Many farmers working transition below dietary cation anion distinction (DCAD) situations want to make sure they’re recurrently testing forages, as many dry cow diets at present aren’t reaching the proper acidity, probably leaving cows susceptible to issues with milk fever.
“The recent climate of summer time 2022 led to many drought burdened crops and we’ve seen straw samples with greater than double the same old quantity of potassium in.”
Sloan mentioned, equally, farmers who optimised slurry functions because of excessive fertiliser costs final 12 months could also be feeding forages with excessive potassium ranges ensuing within the threat of rising milk fever circumstances.
Sloan mentioned mineral sampling of straw and forages is extraordinarily essential to examine precisely what degree of DCAD is being fed versus cow necessities.
“With out understanding the bottom degree of minerals, commonplace guide values for typical mineral contents might be very completely different to the precise weight loss program being fed, particularly after we skilled a non-typical season final 12 months,” she mentioned.
“It’s tough to attain a low sufficient DCAD by simply controlling the bottom forages, made more difficult by forage availability and continuity of diets.
“Even when medical circumstances of milk fever aren’t presenting themselves, larger charges of retained cleansings, metritis and poor fertility are warning indicators of sub-clinical milk fever and an intensive weight loss program examine must be performed.”
Sloan mentioned, when managed appropriately, a DCAD weight loss program within the dry interval has “incredible ends in transition cows”, with very low metabolic illness incidence, and a typical enhance in milk yields throughout the lactation.