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NorFor's Feeding Control

The tool to secure an optimal milk production

Article by Jens Ole Christiansen, Senior Dairy Consultant

It is my experience that the most profitable dairy farms are characterised by a high milk production combined with a high level of health, homogenous feeding with consistent content of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. These profitable farms are also characterized by recurrent follow-up on cow's feed intake, feed economy, milk production and last -but not least- cow's welfare.

NorFor Software includes an excellent follow-up tool to control the efficiency of the nutrients, economy and millk production: Feeding Control Tool

Eating, drinking and resting are key words for an optimal production. Photo: Bovi Consult s.r.o

Why use NorFor's Feeding Control tool?

Often we find differences for each feedstuff between the feed mixer and the calculated plan higher than 10 %. This situation is one of the biggest reasons for health problems, bad feeding economy and big differences in day to day milk production.

The Feeding Control tool will allow to answer the following questions:

  • Is the herd fed according to the feed plan?
  • Is the feed intake according to the feed plan?
  • Do the cows produce the predicted milk yield?
  • Is the profit and milk production according to the farm budget? 

Feed control for each feedstuff is essencial when feed intake is low and not as planned. The main reason is differences between the dry matter content in one or more of the silages compared to the analysis. Other reasons can be loading mistakes, self-imposed changes in the feed plan, heating feed ration, heat stress, illnesses, low capacity for water supply, etc. Even if the milk production is on the predicted level and the health seems fine, a low feed intake can create problems in short and long run, because of a negative balance in different nutrients.

Feeding Control Report Example.

Using the Feeding Control tool in the NorFor Software will show if the plan needs readjustments or if the feeding management is causing the problem. NorFor’s Feeding Control tool gives the possibility to monitor more than 100 ration parameters and more than 50 key figures, making it an excellent tool for troubleshooting.

I recommend using NorFor’s Feeding Control tool minimum 2-3 weeks after changes in feed plan, and after that, at least once a month. If you have NorFor Feed Ration Optimizer on farm basis you can do it as often as needed to control.

Regular use of the Feeding Control allows the comparison of the results to budget. It is essential to adjust the budget if milk and feed prices are changing. Also, many financial creditors in Scandinavia demand monthly Feed Control and results from the monthly officially milk yield control.

If you are interested to know more about the Feeding Control Tool I recommend to visit NorFor’s Annual Advisory Workshop (held on the 20th and 21st September in Wageningen, The Netherlands) where this topic will be discussed intensively.

Click below to know more about this year’s NorFor Advisory Workshop.


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