Higher yield, cheaper feed ratio, or both? That is what you will achieve if you use NorFor to calculate feed ratios on dairy farms.
Jens Ole Christiansen, a dairy farm consultant with customers in a number of European countries, introduced NorFor in November 2015 at the GO-KO dairy farm, which consists of 800 Holstein dairy cows located in the southern part of Slovenia. Since then, GO-KO has been able to increase the intake of silage and reduce the use of concentrates and grain in the feed ration.
“It helps that we have good quality corn silage to start with, but NorFor definitely plays a part in this. It has allowed us to take full advantage of the fine quality in the silage”, says Jens Ole Christiansen. “GO-KO has, during the last 2 years, increased the digestibility and the yield of produced grass and corn silage. The average in digestibility in grass is 1,15 kg DM/Fen and with 16,5 % protein. The average digestibility in corn silage is 1,16 kg DM/Fen. When it´s possible to make enough silage of this quality, then you can obtain a higher efficiency from the forage, by using NorFor to calculate the feed rations” continued Jens Ole Christiansen.
The milk yield has increased from 25,8 (NorFor Feeding control 04-11-2015) to 31,1 kilo ECM per cow per day (NorFor Feeding control 14-02-2016) within a short period of time. The feed ratio during the same period contained more silage and together with the higher milk yield, the profit/cow (milk income minus feed costs) increased by 0,83 €/cow/day.
Jens Ole Christiansen, owner of Bovi Consult s.r.o., is an independent senior adviser who works with twenty farms in Denmark, three in Slovenia and one in Slovakia. His Danish customers, who have been using NorFor for one year already, have on average 280 cows and the average milk yield on all twenty farms is 36,2 kilo ECM per cow per day
“I think one of the clearest advantages by using NorFor is, that you develop a better performance of the feed and the feedstuff. It is very easy to determine that the feed ratio will provide the expected outcome. Since this is an easy thing to do with NorFor it is actually being done on the farm.”
Jens Ole Christiansen says that in Denmark, Sweden and Norway the silage makes up around 60 % of the dry matter content in the total feed ration. In other countries and regions it is typically around 45 % dry matter. The difference is partially due to the fact that NorFor has been in practise by nutritionists in the Nordic countries for several years now. It is clear that there is a potential for dairy farmers in other countries to gain the same benefits.
“Oh, yes, NorFor has been very applicable also in Slovenia and Slovakia, where I work”, says Jens Ole Christiansen. He is located in Slovakia and represents NorFor in Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Czech Republic.