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We are now amid the winter-feeding season and grazing for
the year has drawn to a close. While total tonnage of grass
was back on average by about 4 tonnes of dry mater (DM),
the end of season reprieve was welcome for youngstock and
other animals on the farm. As we house these animals the
two most pressing areas to address outside of health is feed/
diet and performance.
The diet might be different this year due to shortage of
forages, but the principles of that diet should be the same.
Weanlings can be the biggest consumer of conserved
forages and especially if you are carrying extra stock beyond
adequate replacement numbers. A weanling entering the
house at the beginning of December will have consumed
over 2 tonnes of silage each by March 17, which is the target
day on a lot of farms. Alternatives such as straw will be one
possibility with every kg replacing 4-5 kilogramme of silage,
but you must also compensate with concentrate as there is
an obvious shortfall in quantity. Maize and beet are also being
used on some farms for youngstock, although you must rule
out its use in other diets firstly. Maize and beet are like high
quality silage, so you are better off keeping this for animals
that need it the most like spring milkers, etc, and if there is
some to spare then you can give to weanlings. Also, one
of the key parts of the diet for weanlings is protein. This is
needed for growth, which for replacements is very different
to weight gain. Keeping protein levels up will build frame
on animals to meet your targets at bulling and calving. With
the maize and beet, you are now beginning to use forages
that are eight per cent and six per cent protein respectively
which is a lot lower than grass silages and so higher protein
supplement is needed.
Regarding performance, every farm should have a target for
what weight gain they need to achieve during the housing
period. Book values will tell you the required weight to bull
at and their approximate performance on grass. If you know
the approximate date of going out to grass in the spring and
the date they will put in calf you should be able to work out
what weight they will need to be when they go to grass. This
leads to the million-dollar question what weight are they at
housing? If you are not proficient at `eye balling' their weight,
then weigh them either with your own scales; by weighing
a selection of them; or there are plenty of services out there
that will do it for you at a very nominal cost.
Knowing whether they must put on 0.5 of 0.75kg a day is
important and so based on you forage analysis and assuming
average 65DMD silage you need 2kg for 0.5kg/day and 3kg
for 0.75kg/day. Weanling underperforming by 0.25kg per
day might be a heifer going in calf 30kg lighter. Research
has shown these animals, which are a major expense to
produce on your farm, will produce less milk solids but more
importantly they will struggle to survive in your herd.
In summary, have a plan in place for your replacement stock
regarding health, feed budget, diet and performance. Intouch
would like to wish you and your family a very happy and safe
Agritech announce new
Egyptian deal at EuroTier 2018
Tipperary based company, Agritech announced a new
export deal at last month's EuroTier in Hannover, Ger-
many. Following their successful launch of ruminant
products to the Egyptian market, Agritech have agreed a
new deal with IFT Egypt which will see them launch their
product Salomega into the poultry market.
Salomega is an essential fatty acid supplement developed
for the enrichment of Omega-3 in eggs and to improve
fertility in male breeders. Agritech became a partner
of IFT Egypt in 2016 and last year began distributing for
Agritech and they now deliver a number of their animal
nutrition solutions including Rumate, Rumicare, Optimate
and Vitameg. Speaking on this recent announcement,
Agritech's Export Manager, Stephen Hennessy, stated,
"Agritech has had a successful partnership with IFT and
this new deal represents the next phase of growth for us."
Established in 1977, Agritech is a family owned business
based in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.
They manufacture and supply a range of forage products
for farm usage with national brands including Welmin
Mineral Supplements, Vitalac Milk Replacer and Tipperary
Grass Seed. It's new Egyptian partner is a national leader
in animal health business, partnering with multi nationals
from around the world. They currently employ over 420
people, including 230 vets.
Business News
Science Communications
Consultancy launched
Communicating complex science simply is the service that
Dr Vanessa Woods is offering through her newly launched
Science Communications Consultancy. The scientist and
consumer engagement professional sees a real need to
engage today's information-hungry consumers in the
science behind our food.
Vanessa is targeting clients for this new venture in both
the agri-food and health sectors (B2B and B2C): two
sectors that she says need to collaborate more because
food and health are inextricably linked. "We are all familiar
with the age old adage, `Your health is your wealth', yet
our approach to healthcare is often more reactive than
proactive. We need to help prevent illness through good
nutrition and this can only be achieved by educating con-
sumers on food quality and its impact on health. We have
world-class, peer-reviewed science, and that science tells
us what `quality' actually means. We must communicate
this science and stop treating quality food as a commodity,
merely focusing on price."
Continuing, she notes: "Our farmers produce nutrient-rich,
high-quality food, that consumers require for sustenance
and health. Farmers need to be empowered with relevant
information, to appreciate just how important they are
to society. A farmer's daughter from Co. Meath, Vanessa
has always had a great love for the land and a real desire
to engage consumers in the science of farming, food and
health. With a BSc in microbiology and a PhD in animal
nutrition, she has 10 years' experience as a senior scientist
and five years' experience at the helm of consumer en-
gagement body, Agri Aware. Vanessa's unique background
will stand her in good stead for her new venture.