Dairy Business Centre
May 2020 Newsletter 





In this months Newsletter: 





Wintering on Fodder Beet

Fodder Beet is becoming more and more prominent in the New Zealand system. Predominately being used as a late lactation feed or for winter feed. Fodder beet itself is very low mineral concentration – particularly Phosphorous. Typically Fodder Beet has 50-70% less Phosphorous concentration than when compared to kale or pasture.

Phosphorous is most frequently associated with infertility, poor milk production and poor appetite and is directly associated with Calcium uptake.

With stock having been grazed on beet for multiple seasons, whether they are on it as young stock, dry cow or as a milker, the animals stores are being constantly depleted. Deficiencies are also seen to be carried through to the next generation, with many calves being born P deficient.

Check out the video below on Phosphorous Deficiencies in New Zealand Dairy Cows, including stock grazing on Fodder Beet. 




“…for every 1 litre of milk produced equates to 1 gram of Phosphorous leaving the cows system” … 

Are you supplementing Phosphorous to restore whats being lost through lactation? If so is it in the correct form? Phosphorous needs to work at the correct 2:1 Calcium to Phosphorous ratio for P to be utilised by the cow.



Product of the Month! 

Time and time again DBC Loose Licks have proven to be an efficient and effective method for heifers and cows to receive their daily mineral requirements.




With no added flavouring, DBC Loose Lick’s provide ad-lib availability of minerals to cows that are “Craving” minerals, allowing the animal the ability to self-medicate. DBC Loose Licks are waterproof, minimising wastage.

Formulated at the correct ratios of Calcium: Phosphorous, DBC Loose Licks are designed for maximum absorption and utilisation in your herd.

Ideal for winter mineral supplementation or during the lactation season, the DBC Loose Lick range includes LITE options without trace minerals, high phosphorous (Fodder Beet Loose Lick) and Dairy Loose lick to accommodate for all diets and mineral requirements.



Click here to learn more



What’s Being Seen in the Field?

We are lucky to have had a mild Autumn so far. As we near the end of season, many herds are already beginning the dry off process, so now is the time to start thinking about your paddock rotations for the coming spring. Autumn fertilisers are being applied to pasture now and are showing good, productive responses.Things to check:

  • Make sure winter feed budgets are done to ensure there is enough feed on hand to get through the winter months.
  • Body Condition Score – cows should leave the platform at optimal BCS. If they are not at optimum, assess current diet and animal health status.
  • NOW is the time to add appropriate minerals to the system. This includes Macro minerals such as Phosphorous and Calcium – ensure these are at the correct ratios for maximum absorption!
  • Young stock need minerals to grow. R1’s are at a critical growth stage of development and R2’s are pregnant and still growing. The best form of mineral supplementation for heifers at grazing are Loose Lick options. This always ensures consistent mineral consumption when compared to mineral injectables and lick blocks.
  • Begin planning spring feed, including paddocks to close during winter, transition diets and minerals.





ASN Cold Start Fertiliser

Ammonium Sulphate Nitrate (ASN) is a compound fertiliser designed to kick start pasture growth through the cooler soil temperatures in autumn and spring.

ASN will not volatilise – NO inhibitor necessary. Has flexible application time (working effectively in 6 degrees Celsius) and does NOT require water activation.

ASN contains 26% N + 13% S and is immediately effective – there is no lag phase.

ASN has superior handling & spreading characteristics.



Click here to learn more
Remarkable late Autumn pasture growth fertilised with ASN Cold Start



Thinking About Calf Feed?

Check out DBC’S MAXIMIZE & UNLEASH Calf Pellets

MAXIMIZE and UNLEASH are high quality feed pellets made right here in Canterbury from quality ingredients. Our calf pellets are specifically designed to maximise skeletal growth and lean muscle mass development whist providing the calf with necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals. MAXIMIZE and UNLEASH assists in strengthening the calf’s immunity and general health of your calf herd.

Designed to only contain nutrients the calf can utilise for growth. 

Calves are the foundation of the future herd and if they are not given the best start they will not perform to their full potential when they enter the milking herd.




Click the link below to learn more about DBC calf pellets






Market Update 

This months current key commodity driving forces.    
  Today 01/05/20          This time last year         
USD exchange rate           0.6001                               0.67

Oil USD price/ barrel         $72.98 /b                         $20.65 /b

Canterbury 2020 harvest would be one of the best in the past 10 years. Prices started to soften, but in the past four weeks have found some support due to the high PKE prices. Grain growers are sensing an opportunity of a shortage in supplements. There has also been some grain go to the North Island, to help alleviate feed shortage from this years drought. This would not usually come from the grain pool of Canterbury, but grain in Australia still trading a lot higher than normal, meaning that imports from there are more expensive than South Island grain. Expect prices to remain flat for next 3 months, while the winter plays out.  We do not see prices falling much further from the current prices but there is more risk that a prolonged winter could put pressure on grain prices in the spring and see prices jumping by $30-$40/T reasonably quickly. We would recommend getting some cover for the coming season before the winter starts.

Internationally the virus has upset many supply chains. One that has been negatively impacted is PKE. There were issues a few weeks ago where it looked like all shipments may have been stopped. And that crush plants would cease production due to the infection of staff. This hasn’t played out yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t. There are still factories that aren’t working at full capacity, so that is having a affect on stockpiles presently. Also it is Ramadan, which traditionally would see less workers at the factories as they usually go off and celebrate the festival. International prices have been high over the last three months due to poor crops and harvest in  Malaysia. This coupled with the drought in the North Island put real pressure on supply. They have started to process more fruit in the last couple of months so meal supply is freeing up, but still a good 15-20% behind last year. Also compared with this time last year the dollar is 11% weaker, meaning it is costing an extra $30.00/T. We see the price for PKE to continue to fall in the coming weeks, but not to the lows we have seen in the past two years. The unknown is how the Malaysian government reacts to the virus. Will factories be shut? Prices in the mid to late two hundreds should be considered good buying for next season.




DDG meal supply has been completely rocked by the dramatic slump in the oil prices. Ethanol is not being considered while the oil prices are so low, so meal production will be back by at least 50%. This will keep the prices high. Until the oil price gets above $40 US per barrel, ethanol plants will remain closed. It is not expect to see movement in the DDG price for the coming 5-6 months. There maybe some wheat DDG meal come on the market. This will be priced lower because the CP level is lower, however, in our experience the feed is more readily absorbed by the animal therefore, feed conversion is better. We would recommend getting in touch to discuss this option further. The price difference could be as high as $50.00/T
Other ProteinsSoya meal price continues to fall, due to good planting weather in some states of the US. China seems to be buying some cargos but not as many as what was predicted. This is putting downward pressure on price. Expect to see this market fluctuate in the coming months. Remember when buying a protein source, Soya meal is very digestible verses some of the other protein sources that are being offered in the market.
Canola meal is in good supply at presentPeas have had a good harvest in Canterbury, it is anticipated they will remain in good supply.





Dairy Business Centre is an essential supplier for our primary producers and we are open and operating during this time!

If you have any questions, concerns or just needing someone to talk please give us a call. If you have any questions regarding COVID19 please phone Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or click the link below to the government’s dedicated website.