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Stackyard News Dec 07

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    Advice on Winter Rationing Helps Cumbrian Beef Farmers

Find out the nutritional value of your silage, and make sure other feeds supply enough energy and protein to all the different groups of beef cattle on your farm this winter.


beef cattle

This was the main message from independent ruminant nutritionist Lizz Clarke, at an EBLEX Beef Better Returns rationing workshop held at Newton Rigg.

“A little time and money spent on a silage analysis each year, can save pounds in the long run, because the concentrate part of the diet can then be formulated to balance the nutritional content of the forage,” said Mrs Clarke. “For example, if the silage has a high ME – the energy supply from the bought-in feed can be reduced. If it is high in protein, less additional protein feedstuffs will be needed.”

Mrs Clarke also stressed the importance of tailoring the diet to specific groups of animals – growing cattle will require a good level of protein in the ration, while finishing cattle will need one with much higher energy. Producing cattle that meet customer requirements is also very important, and the way the animal is fed will influence crucial factors such as speed of growth, carcase weight and fat cover.

“With cereal prices continuing to rise, it is going to be an expensive winter to feed cattle – so it is important to make the most of all bought-in and home-grown feeds,” Mrs Clarke said.

“At the workshop I helped individual farmers draw up a balanced and cost-effective ration, which will meet both the nutritional requirements and output goals for one group of animals on their farm. They all seemed to find the time we spent discussing this extremely useful.”

link Beef Producers Should Focus On Marketplace Requirements
link Scottish and Northern Charolais Breeders Elect New Top Table
link British Cattle Conference 2008

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