Coping with fodder shortage
High demand and successive years of low production has created a fodder supply shortage, creating headaches for farmers sourcing feed.
When fodder availability, or more precisely long fibre, is reduced, the temptation can be to buy whatever feed is available. While there are numerous fodder sources suitable for dairy stock, they vary in nutritive value, digestibility, effective fibre value, and may present risks such as ruminal acidosis, mycotoxins and chemical residues (e.g. care is need when using by-products such as grape marc).
Carefully planning likely feed requirements and actively managing feed quality, supply and price risks is the best approach. This can help reduce the cost of purchasing feeds and ensure that stock requirements and feeding risks are reduced.
Here are some tips for success as you progress through the five steps involved in managing a fodder shortage. The steps outlined in this document are expanded below, with links to further documents that provide a guide to planning, buying and handling feeds during periods of fodder shortages.
Step 1: Calculate monthly feed demand and deficit
Step 2: Calculate bought-in feed requirement per month
Step 3: Buy feeds
Step 4: Store feeds
|Storage options to protect feeds from contamination and deterioration.
||Feed storage options
Step 5: Feed diet to herd