Feed Efficiency: Improving feed efficiency through increased production and feed utilization results in a higher level of phosphorous (P) exported off the farm. Advances in Dairy Technology Research has shown improving FE can reduce methane production by as much as 17% in dairy and nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium by as much as 20% excreted in manure.
Economic Advantage: It is estimated that feed costs represent as much as 50% of the cost of milk production consequently the profitability of the milk shipped per cow will definitely be affected by feed efficiency. A simple measure of feed efficiency in dairy production is the kilograms (lbs.) of daily milk produced per kilograms (lbs.) of daily dry matter (DM) consumed.
Proven Results: An intensive investigation of the three major ways of storing silage was undertaken at the USDA Forage Research Centre. The study confirmed that haylage stored in an O2 limiting storage experiences less dry matter loss than haylage stored in bags and bunkers. Although the chemical composition of the 3 AS was similar, feeding AS from the O2-limited tower silo elicited positive production responses.
Yields of 3.5% fat-corrected milk and fat were increased 1.7 kg/day and 150g/day and milk fat content was increased 0.3% when cows were fed diets based on AS from the O2-limiting silo compared with the other 2 silages. The responses in milk fat were paralleled by an average increase in acid detergent fibre digestibility of 270 g/day for cows fed AS from the O2-limiting tower silo. This study has indicated that the Harvestore oxygen limited (AS) provided a 7% higher feed efficiency over the bunker (AS) and 8% higher feed efficiency over the bag (AS).
J Dairy Sci.90:4793-4804
It should be noted that this advantage was not gained at the expense of loss in body condition (BW).
(Click the table below to enlarge)