Wholecrop to dry cows?

jackrussell101

Member
Mixed Farmer
Does anyone on here do it?

Grown it for the first time in years.

Usually feed 18kg grass, 2-3kg straw and then just some standard dry cow mineral at 0.1kg a head.

Would I simply replace the straw and some of the silage with the wholecrop to make the ration work?
 

Aussie Ben

Member
Mixed Farmer
There would be a lot more nutrients in the whole crop than the straw? I'm not sure what your whole crop is or its quality? But here in Australia whole crop would be oats or wheat chopped in pit silage? And that would be feed as the main portion of TMR
 

Jdunn55

Member
I was thinking of doing this but about 8-10kgdm wholecrop and 2+ kg hay as some rough forage, I've decided against it for 2 reasons:
A: wholecrop is another annual crop to grow and due to the increased costs with annual crops they need to have some sort of yield benefit in order to offset the extra cost
B: mine have done absolutely fine this year from some hay/haylage ad-lib and then 2kg dry cow rolls for the last 20 days, out of 50 that I I calved I've had 1 case of milk fever, no ketosis that I'm aware of, no DA's etc, no mastitis when they've calved in and other than a couple of big Hereford bull calves that the heifers struggled with they've all calved really well
So why change it and make it more expensive for myself! Now planning on using the wholecrop I've grown this year the buffer feed to the milkers next year to keep butter fat up which is obviously a yield benefit making it justifiable to grow imo, plus I can keep more cows to the acre on my grazing platform which also helps water the cost of growing it down
Does anyone on here do it?

Grown it for the first time in years.

Usually feed 18kg grass, 2-3kg straw and then just some standard dry cow mineral at 0.1kg a head.

Would I simply replace the straw and some of the silage with the wholecrop to make the ration work?
 
Hi unfortunately whole crop is much higher in energy than straw, it’s a great idea to get starch into the dry cows and the WC, it will help rumen fill however I would think you’ll still need straw to keep the energy density down. If you would like me to look at the diet for you let’s have a chat.
 
Question for you, I've asked this question to a couple of nutritionists in the past, what is the perfect dry cow diet if you had the ability to feed anything
Silage is probably the worst thing to use however needs balanced. For me a mix of silage, wholecrop/Maize m, chopped straw, balanced with concentrate, good quality minerals and 100g mag flakes. Doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive just attention to detail and spend the time mixing and presenting it right. Feed, water and shed space is just as important as the diet. If you would like me to have a look for you get in touch.
 

Jdunn55

Member
Silage is probably the worst thing to use however needs balanced. For me a mix of silage, wholecrop/Maize m, chopped straw, balanced with concentrate, good quality minerals and 100g mag flakes. Doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive just attention to detail and spend the time mixing and presenting it right. Feed, water and shed space is just as important as the diet. If you would like me to have a look for you get in touch.
Don't take this the wrong way but you've just listed 7 ingredients which to me is very complicated, especially without a mixer wagon... but, I would almost prefer to get the dry cow diet right and the milking diet wrong than the other way round (ideally both right would be better though 😂 )! I'm quite happy carrying on as I am, but you're the first one who's given me a straight answer! Was just curious if theres a perfect wonder crop I should be growing!
 
Don't take this the wrong way but you've just listed 7 ingredients which to me is very complicated, especially without a mixer wagon... but, I would almost prefer to get the dry cow diet right and the milking diet wrong than the other way round (ideally both right would be better though 😂 )! I'm quite happy carrying on as I am, but you're the first one who's given me a straight answer! Was just curious if theres a perfect wonder crop I should be growing!
Your 100% right not all have mixer wagons. I have farms who have a field just for making dry cow hayledge which gets no fert or slurry and feed a good dry cow nut with it, it’s very simple and does work. Forage that is grass which has got away on the cows is often too high in energy and or potassium which plays havoc with dry cows. Depends on the type of yield you are aiming for also, no right or wrong system just every system is different. So your potential wonder crop is the above organic field for hayledge.
 

Jdunn55

Member
Your 100% right not all have mixer wagons. I have farms who have a field just for making dry cow hayledge which gets no fert or slurry and feed a good dry cow nut with it, it’s very simple and does work. Forage that is grass which has got away on the cows is often too high in energy and or potassium which plays havoc with dry cows. Depends on the type of yield you are aiming for also, no right or wrong system just every system is different. So your potential wonder crop is the above organic field for hayledge.
I've wondered about a gs4 mix for that purpose? Get the good growth from clover doing nitrogen fixing and no slurry or fertiliser needed?
 
I'm going to be feeding some wholecrop spring oats to dry's this year. The main reason is because I've rented a block of ground in a mid tier scheme which has to have 100ac of spring sown wholecrop on it. I don't need that much SB so I put some into oats this year as a trial.

I think it will do 10-12t fw/ac and tweaking the system a bit I hope we can do higher in future.
 

Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

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Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

Written by Lisa Applin

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In July, we opened the applications window for farmers to join our Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is 1 of the 3 new environmental land management schemes. It sits alongside the future Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery schemes.

Through the Sustainable Farming Incentive, farmers will be paid for environmentally sustainable actions – ones that are simple to do and do not require previous agri-environment scheme experience.

We are piloting the scheme to...
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