Milk more with less young stock
As of 1 April 2015, milk quotas are no longer in place in Europe. How should you, as a farmer, prepare for that? Do you want to increase milk production? Or are you faced immediately with new limits, like the phosphate and ammonia legislation? Less but better young stock on your farm is the key to more room for milk production. What does your rearing balance look like?
Not everybody will be in a position for unlimited milking. The new fertiliser legislation in place since 1 January puts a fairly hard limit on the growth of dairy farms. Expansion is possible, but only if it does not put any extra pressure on the fertiliser market. Additionally dairy farms with a phosphate surplus will have to show every year that the surplus is disposed of responsibly to farms with enough land or to fertiliser processing plants. If that is not possible, they will be fined € 11 per kg of phosphate.
This means that farms already at the limit of phosphate production have a problem if they want to grow. Initiatives for the construction of industrial fertiliser processers (and/or export) are only gradually being implemented. And creating greater room for purchasing new land is not really an option. At current land prices, the purchase of more land for dairy cows is rarely profitable.
Fewer young cattle creates more room for milk production
So how can you create more room for expanding your number of dairy cows and increasing milk production without fertiliser processing or buying more land? One of the options open to almost every dairy farm is to reduce the number of young cattle on the farm. Less young stock means more room for dairy cows and for increasing milk production. This is only possible by keeping the calves that can grow into healthy, strong cows with high production levels. And then rearing those calves as effectively as possible!
3 goals: earlier calving, lower replacement rates, higher production
More room for milk production and milking more with less young stock on the farm. Is it really that simple? If you work towards the right goals, it may well be easier than you might think. Sprayfo's vision encompasses the following three goals:
- Lowering the calving age of heifers to 22 or 23 months.
- Lowering the replacement rate to less than 25%.
- Increasing milk production per cow up to 1,000 litres in the first laction
Utilising the growth potential of your calves to the full
The next question is how to realise these three goals. Most dairy farmers could generate higher profits with a sharper focus on the first phase of life for their calves – from birth to weaning. After all, it is in the first weeks that the foundation is laid for the performance of the future dairy cow.
But it is essential to maximise the growth potential of the calf from birth. Growth is not just about 'weight gain'. It's also the key to the full development of the milk-production cells in the young animal. If you miss that chance in the period before weaning, you will never catch up, and the full milk-production potential of your future dairy cows will never be utilised. Sprayfo has good reason to assert that a focus on growth before weaning already in the first lactation generates 1000 litres more milk.
But there is more to it than just that. A well-developed calf will continue growing better after weaning, enter puberty earlier and will already have the right weight for insemination at 12–13 months. This helps you, as dairy farmer, to lower replacement percentages and increase (lifespan) production.
Realising growth potential with Sprayfo LifeStart
With the Sprayfo LifeStart Program Sprayfo supplies the nutrition and feed schedules you need to utilise the growth potential of young cattle to the full. Sprayfo milk replacer dissolves very effectively, provides an easy feed intake and can therefore be supplied in high concentrations. The latter of these is essential for maximising growth, high immunity levels and less disease and mortality.
Our rearing specialists look forward to providing specific rearing recommendations for your farm. Also the Sprayfo Profit Calculator allows you to quickly and conveniently calculate gains from more intensive feeding during calf rearing.
The Sprayfo LifeStart Program, with excellent milk replacer and support during rearing, contributes to earlier initial calving, lower replacement percentages and higher lifespan production. Strong calves that grow into strong dairy cows give you the room you need for extra milk production. And that is why Sprayfo's slogan is: 'For future productivity'.