WITH forage shortages and higher concentrate costs set to erode dairy margins this winter, one producer’s investment in feeding technology has helped drive a welcome increase in the farm’s bottom line.
Paul Robinson, who milks 700 head of Holstein cows, explains that since investing in feeding technology, he has seen a 0.4% improvement in milk fat and an additional 0.44ppl in profit margin.
“We’ve used a Keenan diet feeder for over 30 years and more recently began using the InTouch system as we wanted to improve feeding accuracy and reduce over-feeding,” he says.
“The technology is based around a smart weighing device fitted to our diet feeder. It guides us through a specially-calculated loading order, quantity of ingredients, and processing time, helping to easily measure, monitor and manage feed efficiency.
“Prior to using the unique system, unbeknown to us, we were significantly over-feeding our cows, and this was reducing our margins. This year, we’re feeding 80 more cows than planned, but I haven’t had to buy in any more feed than last year,” adds Paul.
“Alongside reductions in waste, it saves time and the cows are now receiving just one feed per shed, all while still improving performance and making a difference to our bottom line.”
InTouch feeding specialist, David Jones, explains how the latest feeding technologies make it possible for producers to significantly reduce waste and ensure optimum utilisation of the diet.
“Feed represents the biggest single cost of production and it will always pay to ensure high levels of feeding efficiency and accuracy. But, with forage short and bought-in feeds expensive this year, it’s now more crucial than ever.”