Saturday, October 20, 2018

Feeding technology helps increase dairy profits

October 1, 2018 by  
Filed under Livestock

Investment in feeding technology has helped drive a welcome increase in dairy margins for one producer facing forage shortages and higher concentrate costs this winter.

Paul Robinson, who milks 700 head of Holstein cows, says he has seen a 0.4% improvement in milk fat and an additional 0.44ppl in profit margin since investing in the InTouch feeding technology system from Keenan.

“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.

InTouch provides constant improvement of herd performance by collecting of live data – helping producers manage herd health, ration formulation, weight gains, yields and costs. Feed mixes can then be adjusted accordingly.

Mr Robinson 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.”

Before switching to the new system, Mr Robinson says he was over-feeding our cows without realising he was reducing our margins by doing so. This year, he is feeding 80 more cows than planned, but hasn’t had to buy in any more feed than last year.

The system helps Mr Robinson create an even mix that is neither over-processed nor sortable. Mix quality can be further enhanced during the feed-out process to ensure the mix is the same no matter where along the feed barrier it is located.

“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,” Mr Robionson explains.

InTouch feeding specialist David Jones says: “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 is now more crucial than ever.”

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