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Beef and dairy producers are being advised to protect the performance of total mixed rations as the weather becomes warmer. Protect ration performance as temperatures rise

Beef and dairy producers are being advised to protect the performance of total mixed rations as the weather becomes warmer.

“Spoilage can be a real risk in the spring and summer months due to higher temperatures,” warns Jacob Lakin from Azelis Animal Nutrition. With feed prices escalating, it is important that cows gain full value from rations, he adds.

“Damaging micro-organisms can significantly reduce the palatability of the TMR and, if this happens, intakes can quickly drop. Using an effective TMR preservative will help keep the ration fresh and prevent the feed becoming unpalatable.”

As ambient temperatures rise, yeasts and moulds in forages and other TMR feed products grow more quickly when exposed to oxygen. This spoilage reduces nutrient value and adversely affects palatability.

Spoilage and reduced palatability can significantly depress livestock performance, production and health. Milk yield

and solids may be reduced, particularly when cows are turned out onto lush spring grass, says Mr Lakin.

Adding organic acid blends to the TMR can inhibit growth of moulds and yeasts. This helps to offset any potential unwanted drop in intake and ensure cows extract full nutritional value and performance from the ration.