Dairy Nutrition & Financial

The biggest factor impacting a cow’s performance, and therefore a farm’s performance, is what, when, how much and at what cost a cow is eating. Franklin Vets offers a variety of services to assist farmers derive optimal performance from their herds supporting sustainable, productive, profitable and animal welfare-friendly farming systems.

Body Condition Scoring

Can be completed as mob scores, or individual scores. Mob scoring is best done into InfoVet on a repeated basis to track herd BCS change or for feed budgeting purposes. Reporting is from InfoVet Individual scoring is often done at pregnancy testing to identify when to dry cows off so they reach target BCS at calving.

Proactive Monitoring of Nutrition status

These are the routine visits to assess energy balance (BOH, NEFA), macromineral balance (Ca, Mg, P), micromineral status (Cu, Se, B12) or enzyme function (GGT, GLDH, AST, CK, BUN). They involve serum &/or liver samples at different times of the season.

Feed Analysis

Feed samples are sent to Hill Laboratories and reported back to you with a veterinary commentary on the analysis.

Transition troubleshooting

Identifying the causes of multiple metabolic cases and resolving them quickly is the focus of the troubleshooting session. This is essentially the herd level application of investigating the individual down cow and involves BCS, serum mineral and metabolite, pasture and dietary assessments with the aid of spreadsheet tools and lab tests.

Winter Feed Budget

This is a big picture budget compiled in the late lactation period to aid decisions in drying-off and in determining what supplements are required to get cows to BCS 5 at calving.

Animal Health Spend Review

This report allows farmers to see where their animal health spend is going – towards prevention, management, reproduction or treatment, to benchmark yourself and to consider options for optimizing animal health spend.

Agvance Mineral Calculations

Use of the Agvance online tool to determine appropriate supplementation requirements for cows at different stages of lactation. This can be done independently or in conjunction with the Agvance team.

Farm Walk / pasture budget

This service focuses on the operational requirements to feed cows over defined periods. I.e. What are reasonable pasture and production targets? How much pasture is available? How do I manage pasture deficits? What options should I consider?  This uses plate meters and various feed budgeting spreadsheets to model scenarios.

Transition Planning

Preventing metabolic cases is the focus of the planning session. Assessment of BCS, pasture and diets with the aid of spreadsheet tools informs the risks ahead of the transition period and how best to mitigate them.

Ration Balancing

Involves assessing the different components of a dairy herd’s ration, looking for any inherent risks to performance, and providing advice on how to manage these risks. It is best to incorporate a pasture assessment, but this can be back-calculated. Best results are achieved with feed analyses.

Whole Farm Budget

This service helps farmers to define annual requirements for feed, nitrogen and cow numbers based on production targets and pasture harvest. It can also be used to back-calculate pasture harvest from actual data derived over a season. A rudimentary financial model is included to enable “back-of-the-envelope” quick calculations on the impact of different scenarios

Farm System Assessment

This service is used to compare a dairy farm system with alternative scenarios to identify the most profitable and sustainable system. Modeling of the farm is completed in Udder (specialized farm modeling software) with the assistance of either Red Sky (financial analysis package) or cash-flow models.


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