Nutrition

Nutrition

The bulk of UK maize and wholecrop cereal crops are fed to livestock.  MGA nutrition information aims to make the most of this feed in the production of high quality milk and meat at a low cost.  MGA Nutritionist advice is free to members.

 
 

Resources: Nutrition

HARVESTING MAIZE – EFFECTS ON QUALITY

Friday, July 21, 2017

In his 6th Technical Note for MGA members, Mike Wilkinson looks at harvesting and silage quality.  Mike can be contacted via the MGA office.

 When to harvest?    

Changes in forage maize quality with advancing crop maturity are mainly the consequence of changes in whole-plant DM concentration. Post-fertilisation, sugars (mainly fructose polymers and glucose) are translocated from leaf via stem to rachis (cob) and finally to grain where they are polymerised into starch as the grain fills and increases in weight.  The progressive changes from sugars in solution to starch in suspension (milk) and then to solid starch is indicated by the rise in milk line from the base to the top of the grain as it matures.  This process is accompanied by significant loss of water from the plant. There is also loss of water due to leaf senescence and cell rupture due to disease and/or frost damage.

Chris Bartrams' latest maize nutrition update

Monday, March 27, 2017

Chris Bartram, Mole Valley Farmers head Nutritionist second article will highlight a number of latest observations and developments in the nutrition of the dairy cow. It is written to provide timely information for thought, discussion and application.

Feed to Faeces Report

Thursday, January 5, 2017

As a follow on from the two very successful MGA feeding days held in Cheshire and Dorset on the 13th and 14th December, trainer and MGA Ruminant Consultant Mike Wilkinson has put together a summary of the lessons learnt.  He and we hope the attached notes prove useful during what remains of this winter and the 2017 growing season.

Diets to reduce grenhouse gases

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

In his second article for the MGA, Mike Wilkinson describes ways of reducing livestock greenhouse gas emissions through diet formulation.

European maize meeting - Feeding value of maize silage

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The chosen subject for this year’s European Maize Meeting, held at the Arvalis Research Station, near La Chepelle St Sauveur in North West France in early September, was “The Feed Value of Maize Silage”.  As has historically been the case, participating countries address the subject focused on related research being undertaken in their home states and as a consequence, the papers provide a useful reminder of what is going on in Europe.

FEED VALUE OF SILAGE MAIZE FOR DAIRY COWS - Danish Euro Maize Meeting Paper, Sept 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

European Maize Committee Meeting (Sept 2016 - France) presented by Rudolf Thøgersen.  Rudolf's paper focuses on Scandinavian assemsment of the feeding value of maize, silage sampling technique and challenges, plus starch and NDF digestibility.

Nutrition & maize silage - Latest developments

Friday, September 16, 2016

It is widely recognised that this is a very challenging time for the dairy sector. However, better news now appears to be on the horizon in terms of an increase in the milk price and some stability in the feed market. All aspects of most farm businesses have been challenged in recent months and alternative strategies and options evaluated. This has been particularly relevant for all areas related to nutrition. It is important that despite maize silage having been a consistent part of the diet for many producers in the UK for many years that the nutritional benefits of feeding maize silage continue to be challenged. This article written by Dr Chris Bartram, Mole Valley Farmers head Nutritionist initially considers the basic aspects of the nutritive value of maize silage and then outlines a number of exciting developments in maize silage related research that may be applicable in the near future. It will be part of a series of updates intended to keep members of the association up to speed with various new nutritional developments related to feeding maize silage.

Key Maize harvest tips

Friday, September 16, 2016

The warm dry weather means that the maize crops continue to romp through their growth stages and that harvest will soon be upon us.  With this in mind I have had a quick scan through past harvest guides to come up with what I hope will be some useful timely reminders.

Assessing milk per tonne of maize silage

Monday, August 1, 2016

We have heard a lot about the need to improve efficiency of feed use.  More milk per kg feed or the same milk from less feed are desirable objectives because in both cases the animal is making better use of each unit of feed eaten, and feed is the most significant variable cost of milk and meat production.

In this article Mike Wilkinson discusses how we should decide which maize hybrids are likely to produce most milk.

His article can be found in the Nutrition section of the website.

Report on the MGA trip to France

Monday, August 1, 2016

Grower and commercial members teamed up recently to head to Picardy in Northern France with Simon Draper, MGA agronomist, to learn what is new from French researchers and growers. 

Attached is a summary of the points picked up by the travellers.  We hope the summary proves useful to members and would ask that questions you have be channelled to Simon, via the MGA office. 

Changes in Nutrition

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Members may have picked up from our last mailing that Chris Savery retired from Agriculture and his role as MGA Ruminant Consultant at the end of last month.  We wish him well and took the opportunity before his departure to gain his parting views on the industry.  Chris’s views were first aired at the MGA Conference in February 2016.  We felt that Chris’s observations may be of interest to members more generally and with his permission have produced them here for general reading.

MGA Conference Paper (written text) 2016 - Bridget Lynch - Agronomy and Dairy Nutrition Research Trial Update

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bridget Lynch from University College Dublin, Lyons Research Farm's paper to the MGA conference in Peterb0rough during February 2016

MGA Variety booklet 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Maize harvested and feeding well?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Our appreciation of the tremendous value of maize in the diet makes us keen for it to be in the diet as soon as possible. But, after months of watching it grow and despite the delayed season, it is important that we do not compromise the value of the final crop. A good autumn has been very welcome, but those in marginal areas may struggle to hit harvest targets.

MGA Mineral range, prices and specifications

Friday, October 30, 2015

The MGA range of minerals is produced for us by Mole Valley Farmers and is targeted at balancing maize diets for cows.

The specifications and prices are included in this article

MGA Harvest guide

Thursday, August 27, 2015

 With harvest activity in mind, we have reviewed and updated where necessary, the MGA Maize Harvesting Guide.  We make no apologies for starting this year’s guide with Post Harvest Maize Field Management advice, believing that this area of crop agronomy is vitally important if unhindered maize growing is to continue.  As always we would encourage growers to make use of Simon and John to talk through specifics of harvest if required.

Maize in Beef Systems

Friday, July 10, 2015

Simon Marsh, Principal Lecturer at Harper Adams has written an excellent review of studies carried out at the University into feeeding maize to beef and the results of the trials.

Costs of forage production

Friday, April 17, 2015

John Morgan has updated the costs of forage production for 2015

Conference paper - Professor Mike Wilkinson

Friday, February 27, 2015

Mike talked us through what you need from your maize for the dairy cow and an AD plant.

2014 crop harvested and feeding well?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Maize crops closest to me (Shropshire) were being harvested today, early November. Although this sounds late for this year and especially after a very kind October, it is typically a reflection of the time it has taken for crops to reach an acceptable dry matter %. The possibility of a very early harvest back in July was changed by a cooler, wetter August. Crops have generally matured well, but despite considerable favourable weather, crops remained very green. Indeed, the maturity of the grains lead to fields being started, only to find the crop often coming off very wet and the need to pull out.

The Common Agricultural Policy Reforms

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will bring about change in many areas of farming in 2015. There will be the transfer from the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) to the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), with its new Greening rules, as well as changes to Cross Compliance.  While the fine details have yet to be finalised we thought it may be useful to have a summary of what we know so far. 

The summary has been produced by Laura Gude who works with John at Creedy Associates.  The information presented is to the best of our knowledge correct.  That said, we would urge you to seek individual advice to clarify the facts as they relate to your business.

Adequate maize till harvest?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Running out of maize (or cereal wholecrop) is likely to have big implications in any diets fed. With cows now milking well and returns much improved, any upset affects every aspect of production, which is expensive and must be avoided. With careful planning this problem can be averted and intakes / performance maintained.

Clamped Forages - Review & Improve

Friday, April 4, 2014

Chris Savery gives us good advice on improving clamp management and working with your contractor to provide good quality silage for your stock this winter.

Forage Harvested - Now What!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

After a better year for most, in terms of forage production, Chris Savery takes this opportunity to review what we have got and how best it can be used.

From seriously empty clamps this spring, forage stocks have in most, but not all cases been replenished to a considerable extent. Grass silage production has varied considerably, from some very small cuts, to potential embarrassment this autumn. Maize, after a cool, late and slow start has for many done well, but in between those good crops there are too many low yields for various reasons.

Costs of forage production

Monday, March 25, 2013

John Morgan has updated the costs of forage production for grazed grass, grass silage, maize wholecrop, fodder beet kale and Italian ryegrass.

Lessons learn't from 2012

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chris Savery, MGA Nutritionist reviews the 2012 season and talks about the lessons we should have learn't from such a poor maize growing and feed year.

Maximise maize feed value at harvest

Monday, October 22, 2012

Continuing wet and indifferent weather has meant that prospects for maize harvest have not improved.  Chris Savery gives members useful tips on making the best of the maize crop this year.

Maximise maize feed value at harvest

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Continuing wet and indifferent weather has meant that prospects for maize harvest have not improved.

Many farms are now missing last year’s maize from their diets and milk production is below target, generally reflecting the lower quality grass silage. This is creating considerable pressure to get maize back into the diet as soon as possible.

Prospects if the maize crop fails to mature

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Although thoughts will be a long way off harvesting, it is right to anticipate the crop you are likely to get. There is tremendous variability across the country’s maize crops, generally irrespective of sowing date, and heavily influenced by how wet fields have remained. Those crops that changed into vigorous green plants in the hot weather of late July are generally now well on, with prospects of a good crop. But, too many have spent a long time gradually changing from yellow to green, or are still yellow and small.

Dairy Co Starling Review Published

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dairy Co have this week published their review of the problems associated with starlings and maize.  A full report of the work which was undertaken by Kingshaye can be downloaded by following the link within the Nutrition section of the web site.

MGA Additive guide 2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The primary aim of thisMGAAdditive Data Sheet is to provide members with a current and convenient list of the key facts relating to the crimped grain, maize and wholecrop silage additives available this summer.  It has been produced in response to requests by members keen to know what options are out there, how they work and who to contact to learn more. 

It is important to highlight that theMGAis not recommending any of the additives, but has simply put together a list of the alternatives available.  While endeavouring to cover most of the options, we have undoubtedly missed a few and would urge those involved in ones we have missed to let us know, so that we can update members as to all their options as soon as possible.

The presented Data has been split into three tables.  The first focuses on the options available for wholecrop cereal production, the second on the crimped grain options with the third focused on maize silage.  In each table the Product Name, Primary Contact and type of additive is listed.  Company contact details are listed as an appendix.

Additive Company details.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Additive Company name, address, phone number and website.

MGA Conference - FiveF: AlkabupHa, the alkalizer for ruminant diets

Friday, March 16, 2012

Malcolm Graham from FiveF talks about AlkabupHa, a new product dealing with acid diet problems.

MGA Conference - LG: Maximising feeding performance

Friday, March 16, 2012

Tim Richmond from Limagrain UK Ltd talks about improving the energy content of maize.

Maize Quality Analysis - LINK Project on maize quality

Friday, March 2, 2012

Jonathan Blake explains the progress with the LINK project looking at measuring maize silage quality.

Feeding ruminants - Have we got it wrong?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Andrew Holland from Ontrak Nutrition has some interesting points to make, when it comes to feeding the dairy cow.

Maize within my low cost milk production system

Friday, March 2, 2012

Gavin Fowler ( 2011 Dairy Farmer of the Year, Farmers Weekly)  explains his farming system and how maize continues to play an important role on his North Devon farm.

How is your maize feeding?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chris Savery discusses the ways to make the best of this years maize silage.

Starlings/Winter Feed Presentation - Steve Turner

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vet Steve Turner reviewed the practical and financial impact of starling infestations at the recent MGA Birds and Maize Meeting held in Somerset. 

 

Birds and Maize meeting Paddy Gordon

Monday, November 7, 2011

Paddy Gordons, Vet with the Shepton Vet Group, presentation to the Birds and Maize meeting November 2011

Maize Ready to Go?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Maize harvest is upon us, some MGA members have already harvested this year's maize crop, but many farmers are still waiting for the cobs to ripen.  Chris Savery gives members some excellent advice on dry matter, clamping and sheeting down the maize to get the best from what has been a difficult year for many maize growers. 

2011 Maize Variety Booklet/List

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Guidance on variety choice including MGA Variety selector.

MGA Harvest Guide 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

An updated guide to maize harvesting in 2011  Includes: Dry matter at harvest, chop length, additives, salt, filling and sheeting the pit, post harvest cultivations, mycotoxins and control of eyespot, biogas maize, grain maize and corn cob mix.

Crimped maize

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chris Savery, MGA Nutritionist explains in detail the harvesting and storing of crimped maize, including additives, storing methods and feed values.

Cutting feed costs with intensive beef finishing

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Simon Marsh, senior lecturer from Harper Adams University College discusses the research results for cutting the costs of finishing intensive beef cattle.

High price protein

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chris Savery, MGA Nutritionist discusses the high price of protein and what alternatives are available.  In particular the choices and protein value in home grown crops

MGA Conference Papers 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Full copy of the 2011 MGA conference held at Harper Adams University College in February 2011

  • Crimped maize grain for finishing beef cattle - Simon Marsh
  • Grain maize opportunities - Alistair House
  • MGA Research results - Simon Draper - Cultivation, starter fertiliser, drilling dates,seed size and dressings, variety type, slurry, nitrogen, foliar feeds, herbicides, pastic
  • Maize growing in Germany
  • Anaerobic digestion on my farm - Stephen Temple

 

Rat Problems in Maize

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Members will we hope, remember a recent request to take part on what is thought to be the first ever national study focusing on rat problems associated with maize. The study coordinated via BASF Pest Control Solutions has come up with both expected and surprising conclusions.