Efficiency has been the buzzword for graziers in 2023, with tough marketing conditions putting a spotlight firmly on the cost of production once again.
At the same time, the onset of higher temperatures over the past month has wicked the moisture out of spring pastures, making us rely on dry feed sooner than usual.
As winter-dominant grasses mature and dry off, they lose a significant amount of nutritional value.
A green pasture that, a month earlier, was able to support a lactating cow and calf would now most likely struggle to support the maintenance of a dry cow.
According to Dr Paul Meggison, chief nutritionist at AusFarm Nutrition Products (ANP), managing the efficiency of dry season grazing is key to business profitability in the current environment.
Efficiency is gained by maximising the utilisation of standing dry feed and increasing its ability to drive production- Dr Paul Meggison, chief nutritionist at AusFarm Nutrition Products
"Dry season feeding can commonly see the cost of production blow way out, with little noticeable return."
Dr Meggison, who has been advising producers in the Riverina for over 20 years, says maintaining cattle on dry feed doesn't have to be a costly exercise.
"The efficiency just isn't there for feeding hay to dry cows, or even lactating cows, especially if there's dry feed in the paddock."
"Efficiency is gained by maximising the utilisation of standing dry feed and increasing its ability to drive production."
Dr Meggison advises that dry feed can be best used by supplementing with an economical and effective dry feed supplement that is intended to boost protein, energy and digestibility.
"On dry feed, digestibility is key.
"The more feed they can eat, the more value they can get out of it."
"In some cases, up to 30 per cent more when paired with an effective protein supplement like StockGro-HiPro," he said.
StockGro-HiPro is a molasses-based liquid feed supplement designed to elevate protein, energy and fibre digestibility to drive the efficient utilisation of dry feed.
StockGro-HiPro can support maintenance, boost growth and improve fertility in cattle grazing low-value dry pasture, hay and straw.
"In drought conditions, StockGro-HiPro can support maintenance of dry cows fed a moderate quality straw, like barley straw, for a cost of around 35 cents a head per day," Dr Meggison said.
"For cows and calves, StockGro-HiPro + Bovatec is the recommended supplement on dry feed, as it generates elevated feed use efficiency, supports lactation and boosts calf growth and immunity."
To complement their growing range of dry feed supplements, ANP has launched a new cattle specific, weatherproof, granular loose-lick supplement, StockMins-BoviPro: Dry Feed Supplement for Cattle, this spring that is designed to add flexibility to grower's feeding programs.
For more information on how ANP supplements can help you grow and maintain livestock on dry feed, you should contact the team from AusFarm Nutrition Products 0412 048 055 or visit ausfarmnutrition.com