The biggest factor impacting a cow’s performance, and therefore a farm’s performance, is what, when, how much and at what cost a cow is eating. We offer a variety of services to assist farmers to derive optimal performance from their herds supporting sustainable, productive, profitable and animal welfare-friendly farming systems.
Dairy Nutrition and Financial Services
Body Condition Scoring
Can be completed as mob scores, or individual scores. Mob scoring is best done into Infovet on a repeated basis to track herd BCS change or for feed budgeting purposes. Reporting is from Infovet.
Individual scoring is often done at pregnancy testing to identify when to dry cows off so they reach target BCS at calving.
Proactive Monitoring of Nutrition status
These are the routine visits to assess energy balance (BOH, NEFA), macromineral balance (Ca, Mg, P), micromineral status (Cu, Se, B12) or enzyme function (GGT, GLDH, AST, CK, BUN). They involve serum &/or liver samples at different times of the season.
Feed samples sent to Hill Laboratories and reported back to farmer with veterinary comment on the analysis.
Winter Feed Budget
This is a big picture budget compiled in the late lactation period to aid decisions in drying-off and in determining what supplements are required to get cows to BCS 5 at calving. .
Animal Health Spend Review
This report allows farmers to see where their animal health spend is going – towards prevention, management, reproduction or treatment, to benchmark themselves and to consider options for optimizing animal health spend.
Determine appropriate supplementation requirements for cows at different stages of lactation.
Farm Walk / pasture budget
This service focusses on the operational requirements to feed cows over defined periods. I.e. What are reasonable pasture and production targets? How much pasture is available? How do I manage pasture deficits? What options should I consider? This uses plate meters and various feed budgeting spreadsheets to model scenarios.
Preventing metabolic cases is the focus of the planning session. Assessment of BCS, pasture and diets with the aid of spreadsheet tools informs the risks ahead of the transition period and how best to mitigate them.
Identifying the causes of multiple metabolic cases and resolving them quickly is the focus of the trouble-shooting session. Get cows up and producing again quickly.
Involves assessing the different components of a dairy herd’s ration, looking for any inherent risks to performance and providing advice on how to manage these risks. It is best to incorporate a pasture assessment, but this can be back-calculated. Best results are achieved with feed analyses.
Whole Farm Budget
This service helps farmers to define annual requirements for feed, nitrogen and cow numbers based on production targets and pasture harvest. It can also be used to back-calculate pasture harvest from actual data derived over a season. A rudimentary financial model is included to enable “back-of-the-envelope” quick calculations on the impact of different scenarios.
Farm System Assessment
This service is used to compare a dairy farm system with alternative scenarios to identify the most profitable and sustainable system. Modelling of the farm is completed in Udder (specialized farm modelling software) with the assistance of either Red Sky (financial analysis package) or cash-flow models. An initial visit of 2hrs to collect data is followed by up to 1.5days of modelling and a second visit to report on the modelling outcomes.
Regular Farm systems and operational consultancy (Intelact)
This service incorporates all bar two of the above services over 4hr visits conducted at regular 6-8weekly intervals and also addresses environmental risks through the use of Overseer.