AHDB Dairy Board member hosts feed workshop for dairy farmers

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Managing feed for herd health, fertility and productivity will be the focus of an upcoming AHDB Dairy workshop held on 17 January.

The event will be hosted by dairy farmer, and AHDB Sector Board member, Scott Shearlaw, on High Garphar Farm in South Ayrshire.

Led by a Cow Signals Trainer, the event will focus on three key areas; the cow’s environment, the herd, particularly in terms of behaviour and condition, and of course, diet and nutrition.

There will be discussion on how to maximise dry matter intake throughout the winter, and provide practical advice on improving intake through simple changes to diet, housing and management.

Chris Stockwell, AHDB Dairy Knowledge Exchange Manager, says: “We held a really successful event on this subject back in November so we are running a second workshop in January due to increased demand.

“We know that for some farmers forage stocks may be particularly tight again this year, and in a lot of cases silage will be of high dry matter which will increase sorting and higher spoilage. So we will be looking at how we can make sure the cows are getting as much as they can from the feed available.

 “This will be a really practical on farm session with a very experienced dairy nutritionist, Donald Brown."

Donald, who has 27 years as a ruminant nutritionist, will take the group through those areas vital to good feed intake, including access to feed, access to lying areas where cows can ruminate, and feed management, and he will also discuss the Danish concept of compact feeding.

Compact feeding involves soaking of concentrates overnight so it becomes compacted and harder for cows to sort through, discarding bits they don’t want to eat, but which may be nutritionally beneficial.

The event will be held at High Garphar Farm, Crosshill, South Ayrshire, KA19 7QT from 11am to 1pm on Thursday 17 January 2019. It is free to attend but farmers are encouraged to book their place so catering can be organised – lunch will be provided.

Farmers who wish to attend the meeting can book their place by contacting the AHDB KE Events Hub on 01904 771216 or ke.events@ahdb.org.uk.