DairyNZ’s regional leader for Southland/South Otago, Richard Kyte, says around half a million cows in the region are now feeding on crops and this is an important period for managing the transition onto these feeds.
“We’ve had reports from veterinarians of deaths of cows feeding on both swedes and fodder beet crops. Many farmers will only be half way through transitioning their cows onto crops at this stage in the season. It’s vital they keep that careful transitioning approach going.”
DairyNZ is continuing to work with farmers and veterinarians this season to identify early signs of ill-health in animals. “We want to record incidences of ill-effects throughout this season and so we are urging farmers to contact their veterinarians if they have one or more cow deaths or concerns about ill-health.”
He says fodder beet is a crop that farmers are using more this season. This also requires careful management as a feed for cows.
DairyNZ has issued detailed advice to farmers on feeding both swedes and fodder beet in the past week. See links below.
Caution urged over fodder beet intake
DairyNZ scientists are urging farmers to take care when feeding fodder beet to their dairy herds this winter. The caution comes as vets report increased issues with cows becoming ill or even dying as a result of problems experienced on fodder beet crops.
Swede survey shows multiple factors to manage
Industry body DairyNZ is advising farmers to focus on managing a number of factors involved in feeding swedes this season, including the proportion of swede that makes up the diet of their cows.
DairyNZ communications manager
Tel 027 703 0211