Making the Most of Spring Grass.

29th April 2021

With the grazing season getting underway across the country, Dr David Johnston, Ruminant Nutritionist with Fane Valley Feeds, explains how Fane Valley Feeds’ Top Graze Dairy Nuts are formulated to complement grass and maximise cow performance this spring.

David remarked, “Spring grass has a dry matter content between 15 to 20 percent, so cows often struggle to physically eat enough to provide the dry matter required. Crude protein in grass can be as high as 25 percent, and when coupled with rapidly fermenting sugars leads to faster rumen throughput. It makes it critically important that diet formulation is correct allowing proper feed utilisation during the turn out phase.

Top Graze Dairy Nuts are offered at two protein levels to balance differences in grass quality across the season. Firstly, Top Graze 14 has been developed for use with young leafy spring grass, commonly above 22 percent crude protein, whilst Top Graze 16 complements summer grass, which is normally lower in protein.”

“As grass is high in rumen degradable protein (RDP), excess protein supply leads to the production of urea which requires cows to expend energy on its excretion. High levels of urea in the blood can reduce follicle quality, heat expression and create an environment in the uterus which is toxic to the developing embryo. Top Graze Dairy Nuts contain high levels of Hi-Pro Soya, an excellent source of rumen undegradable (bypass) protein helping to balance the high levels of RDP in grass whilst maintaining milk constituents.”

“Spring grass has high levels of rapidly fermentable carbohydrate and is also low in structural fibre, which can lead to a build-up of lactic acid,” adds David.

“This causes the rumen pH to fall, leading to acidic conditions. The low fibre levels mean cows spend more time eating and less time cudding, which in turn reduces the buffering capacity from saliva production – her natural buffer.  Top Graze Dairy Nuts feature high levels of digestible fibre, which helps to balance young leafy grass, as well as a combination of starch sources from maize and barley to enable both fast and more gradual rumen fermentation. The addition of AcidBuf and ActiSaf live yeast will help reduce the seasonal butterfat depression, whilst improving feed efficiency.”

David concludes, “Top Graze Dairy Nuts are fully equipped with Fane Valley Feeds bespoke elite supplement package containing optimal levels of minerals and vitamins required for high yielding dairy cows. This includes Biotin and foot health packages, as well as *Fertility Boost* which is specifically formulated to ensure additional Bioplex Copper, Iodine, Zinc and Selenium (Selplex) are provided maximising fertility, performance and improved overall cow health”

For more information on the Fane Valley Feeds product range and assistance with getting your feeding strategy right this spring, please contact Dr David Johnston on 07929865118 or your local Fane Valley Feeds Sales Specialist or call Omagh: 028 8224 3221.