Extend Grazing Season To Cut Costs

UK - Beef producers could save at least £21 a head on expensive straw bedding costs this winter by delaying housing by six weeks and maximising the nutritional potential of late season grass.
calendar icon 8 August 2011
clock icon 1 minute read

With straw already costing upwards of £125/tonne in the west of the country, housed bedding costs will be running at more than 60p/head/day on some farms – and that’s before taking into account any feed costs, points out David Thornton from Rumenco.

“Housed cattle require about five kg/head/day of bedding straw, so if you are able to delay bringing your stock inside for six weeks you’ll need 210kg/head less straw this winter, saving a minimum of £21/animal,” he says.

David Thornton says it is perfectly feasible on many farms to leave youngstock or suckler cows outside for longer, particularly when underfoot conditions are relatively dry.

“If you are able to feed the silage you would have fed inside in ring feeders outside at grass, and then supplement this forage and what grazing is still available with Rumevite High Energy and Protein blocks you will be better off financially,” he claims.

“The feed blocks will only cost you around £10.92/head for the six week grazing period. It’s much less work and half the cost of the straw you would have used inside. What’s more, you are ensuring the stock make the most of the forage nutrition available. And with a feed block system, rather than trough feeding, there will be no poaching either.”

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