Newsletter Header - Beef

cattle feeding in shed webIt is estimated that feed accounts for 70% of variable costs for beef cattle production. Efficient feeding will have a positive effect on the productivity and overall profitability of beef production systems. Knowing the quality and composition of feedstuffs is crucial, as this will allow us to make better decisions and ensure we are getting value for money.

Cheaper concentrate mixes (€/ tonne) may not be the best value. Consider the value of the ration based on its feeding value. Energy and protein content is the first thing to focus on, but it is the ingredients which make these up that is really important. Feedstuffs in Ireland are assigned two net energy values – UFL (for lactating animals) and UFV (for maintenance and weight gain in finishing animals). One UFL is equal to the energy content of 1kg of dried barley and all feed ingredients are expressed relative to barley.

Energy is the most limiting nutrient in ruminant diets – always check the energy content of the ration or meal. To achieve high levels of performance, energy should be a minimum of 0.94 UFV / kg or 11ME (Mj/kg). Some farmers may buy ration based purely on the protein content of a feed, when in fact they should be buying it based firstly on the level of energy, and then on the percentage of protein. Both are critical for liveweight gain. Protein requirement will vary depending on the type of animal, its’
age and the forage making up the basis of the ration. Always balance the protein content of the concentrate with the protein content of the forage.

Drummonds’ range of premium animal feeds only include top quality, high performance inputs including locally sourced cereal grains and pulses (field beans & peas). We do not include palm kernel, sunflower and wheatfeed/pollard in our rations, ingredients which are low in energy but are relatively cheap.

Table6 guide to UFL

Talk to your local Drummonds Technical Sales Advisor to discuss how we can help you.