With the growing population of cattle and cow numbers across Ireland, many farmers are turning to growing or feeding fodder beet and or maize silage. Both crops are nutritious, palatable and energy rich. However both feeds are lacking in protein, phosphorous and calcium and are potentially dangerous because of its very high sugar level. Maize silage is a high starch (25-35%), low protein (~8-9%) feedstuff, therefore it is vitally important to balance the ruminant’s diet with protein and minerals.
Maize silage is a low protein, high energy feed containing approx. 9% crude protein. This is not sufficient to meet lactating dairy cow requirements. Therefore maize silage should always be fed alongside a high protein feed. Maize silage is generally low in the macro- minerals Ca, Mg, Na & P, therefore mineral supplementation is necessary. E.g. Drummonds Maize/Beet Balancer mineral should be fed to achieve top animal performance.
In practice a 30% crude protein, fully mineralized, high digestible fibre concentrate will cater for situations where a low level of meals is fed. Typically a 24/25% crude protein balancer will cover most other situations.
Drummonds offer a comprehensive range of maize/beet balancer rations, with or without the inclusion of a high spec Hi- Phos Mineral/Vitamin Supplement. They also come with a highly palatable form of cal mag for lactating dairy scenarios. These Balancer Rations are designed for feeding at typically 5kg/head. In addition to our standard 25% and 28% balancers, we also make “HS” options, HS representing high starch. These rations are fortified with maize meal and native cereals, and are specially formulated to supplement forage maize which is low in starch due to poor cob development.
Drummonds Balancer Ration Range
- Maize Balancer 25%
- Maize Balancer HS 25%
- Maize Balancer NM 25%
- Maize Balancer 28%
- Maize Balancer HS 28%
- Maize Balancer NM 28%
Our biggest seller is our Maize Balancer HS 25% Ration – A high powered ration designed to supplement cows where the forage is mixed 50% maize silage and 50% grass silage.
Fodder beet is a highly palatable, highly digestible feed and an excellent source of energy. On an energy basis, 5kg fresh weight is equivalent to 1kg of rolled barley. Its palatability helps drive intake in both finishing and lactating diets maximising live weight gain and milk yield. As a rule of thumb, roughly feed 3-4kg of beet per 100kg liveweight, with a steady transition required to feed high levels (up to 25kg in finishing bulls).
Beet is low in fibre so a fibre source is required such as grass silage and straw. Beet is also low in crude protein (6-8%) and also requires a protein balancer to balance the diet. Beet, like maize silage is also low in macro minerals and it is advised to supplement a Hi-Phos mineral designed to feed alongside the beet.
Please contact your local Drummonds Agronomist for further information. or technical advisor for further information on feeding your animals this winter.