Dairy Business Centre
October 2020 Newsletter 






In this months Newsletter: 





Whats your Herds Manure Score? 

A manure score judges the consistency, colour and texture of a cow pat scoring between 1 – 5. Manure scoring is an easy way to determine the health of the cows digestive system, from indications of acidosis to excess/not enough protein in the diet to mycotoxins or disease.

As pasture quality is constantly changing not only as the seasons change but can vary from paddock to paddock, this too impacts the animals digestive system. Ideally cow manure should be consistent throughout the season.





Acidosis in Cows

There are two main forms of Acidosis;

Acute Ruminal Acidosis (ARA) – pH <5.0 -5.2  

  • Very low pH and Lactic acid is produced

Sub Acute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA) -pH <5.6

  • High Volatile Fatty Acid (VFA) Levels, very low – nonexistent levels of Lactic Acid.

Acidosis is a negative shift in the rumens pH, causing the environment to be in an undesirable acidic state. This means the rumen walls are prone to acidic burn causing lesions, ruminal scarring, and the prevention of rumen micro organisms ability to function at full capacity. The feeds rate of passage will also been increased, meaning time of the feed spent in the rumen is reduced. All of which results in uncomfortable cows, loss of appetite, loss of condition and milk fat suppression.

How to Prevent/Treat ARA and SARA

Spring is critically high risk for SARA due to low fiber and low dry matter pastures.It is estimated that majority of NZ pasture based farms will experience SARA during spring.

This rate of passage needs to slow down.  The addition of high fibrous feed such as straw and inclusion of rumen buffers, such as Spring Loose Lick, will allow the cow to self medicate and bring her rumen pH back to a comfortable, and efficient state.

How Does Manure Indicate Acidosis? 

If your herds manure score is appearing to Score 1,2 or bubbles, then it is safe to assume that your herd may be suffering from acidosis. If Score 1, expect cows to be down, and in need of urgent assistance.





Product of the Month! 

Spring Loose Lick 

DBC’s Spring Loose Lick is a combination of Salts and Rumen Buffers to aid in balancing the rumens pH preventing/ easing acidosis for stock consuming lush, protein rich pastures.

As stated above, lush, protein rich spring pastures can alter the rumens pH resulting in Acidosis. The addition of rumen buffers such as Spring Loose Lick will allow cows to raise their rumen pH back to a comfortable and efficient state.

Provide in troughs for ad lib availability allowing the cow to self medicate.

To learn more about the benefits of Spring Loose Lick and what it can do for your herd contact your local DBC rep!





What’s Being Seen in the Field?

The latest snow event and consistent rain for farmers in Southland and Waikato has been testing and stressful for the tail end of calving and the beginning of mating. Canterbury farmers are looking for some rain, although many have irrigation, the annual rain fall for this season is light, with many irrigation schemes moving into restrictions early than anticipated. DBC are actively involved in sending feed and minerals across the country while providing advice for farmers to help maintain productivity during these harder weather events.The DBC reps are busy helping farmers with their herd mineral levels in the lead up to mating. Ensuring herds are at the desired levels we expect to see when using products from the DBC mineral range. We have also been seeing some incredible growth results from calves reared on MAXIMIZE Calf Pellets. Calves are looking strong and healthy. We are hands on in helping farmers, providing the best nutrition and advice for a successful season.

Things to check:

  • Mating – Are you ready? It is recommend to do premating bloods to provide a representation of what minerals your herd may need coming into mating.  Test for macro and trace minerals! Don’t forget to Metricheck and treat cows with uterine infections.
  • Send your results to your DBC rep to ensure you are getting the best sound advice and quality mineral supplementation for your stock!
  • Calves – Milk is best! Do not stress if calves are not moving on to solid feed as quickly as you would like. Keep solid feeds such as Maximize and Hay on offer, but  remember milk is always the best form of nutrition for young calves.
  • BCS – lactating cows are now losing weight. They will not start cycling until they begin to lose less weight than the day before.
  • Young stock mating – Heifers need to be hitting target weights and have appropriate mineral supplementation preparing them for mating. 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.
  • Remember young stock need Phosphorous and Calcium to grow strong, healthy bones.
Take care of yourself and your staff during these harder periods through calving, mating and difficult weather events. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed.





Benefits of Liquid Chromium and Liquid Selenium

Chromium is 1 of the 9 essential minerals required by dairy cattle. Organic Liquid Chromium gives the cow the ability to utilise more glucose from her diet effectively. Which leads to improved immunity, improved reproductive performance and improved milk yield.

Like Organic Liquid Chromium, Organic Liquid Selenium aka Selessio is an essential mineral required by dairy cows. Selessio aims to help fight against stressors the stock may be facing, such as environmental, nutritional or physiological. The addition of Selessio into the cows diet has reduced retained fetal membranes (RFM’s), reduced uterine infections, improved reproductive health and performance allowing cows to recover and cycle sooner after calving. 

The addition of Liquid Chromium and/or Selessio to your herd will provide the energy and improved mineral utilisation to combat sickness such as mastitis, uterine infections or metabolic issues,  the energy to get back in calf sooner, and produce more milk.

On farms using Liquid Organic Chromium we have seen empty rates improve by 4%!
With farms using Selessio we have seen RFM’s reduce by 5% ! 

To learn more about the benefits of Chromium and Selessio Selenium and what it can do for your herd contact your local DBC rep!





Healthy Silage’s with Silo Guard

Moulds and Yeasts (heating) present in silage indicate to poor compaction, higher oxygen and moisture levels leading to slow fermentation. Once forage is cut for silage, the plant continues to respire (the conversion of plant sugars into energy, caused by the presence of oxygen).  Mould and Fungus are naturally present in forages. Until oxygen is eliminated, the mould and yeasts will continue to colonise causing heating from yeasts, and mould to grow resulting in loss of carbohydrates, protein and digestibility.To prevent mould and yeast production and improve overall silage quality, then you need to use Silo Guard.

Silo Guard is an oxygen scavenger, eliminating oxygen from bales and stacks allowing for fermentation to occur faster. Silo Guard is simple to apply, easy to handle and can last up to 3 years in storage. There is no need to premix, cool store or worry about handling when using Silo Guard.

Use Silo Guard for efficient, healthier fermentation, better quality silage and increased feed utilisation from your herd.



Click here to see Silo Guard NZ Facebook Page



Market Update

The DBC arrow traffic light system is a good indication on the direction the market price is moving and when the time is right to buy.

Unfortunately we have seen a swift shit upwards in the PKE and Soya Meal  markets due to pressures on supply and demand.

PKE crops this season have been plentiful, however, COVID19 is having a negative impact on labour at origin, which makes harvesting and processing slower than usual.

The cost of barley is up compared to previous years, where wheat pricing is remaining fairly consistent due to ample supply.

For  key dairy areas we are seeing soil ground water levels dry up far earlier than previous seasons. We are advising to balance your feed budgets and determine the costs between imported products such as PKE compared to home grown silage’s.

To learn more about these trends or to purchase commodities get in touch with your local DBC rep.




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