AgriSearch are currently seeking to recruit 30 dairy farms from across Northern Ireland, to participate in a new “feed-to-yield” study being conducted in partnership with AFBI. This project is being co-funded by DAERA under the Research Challenge Fund.
On many farms concentrates are now being offered to dairy cows on a ‘feed-to-yield’ basis, with feed levels in excess of 14 - 20 kg concentrate/cow/day not uncommon with higher yielding cows. However, AFBI research indicates that concentrate levels in excess of 13 - 14 kg concentrate/cow/day are often associated with lower milk fat levels, and as a consequence, some of the economic benefits of these higher concentrate levels are lost.
Many factors will influence the performance and profitability of cows within feed-to-yield systems. These include silage quality, concentrate composition, concentrate intakes, feeding assumptions adopted, and cow genetics. This project aims to examine how these factors affect the performance of individual cows within feed-to-yield systems, and in particular their effects on milk yield and milk composition and cow fertility/health.