New feed range to help drive sustainable milk production

The Massey Harpers Group has launched the first dairy compounds available in the UK to specifically exclude soya and palm products, the ingredients widely acknowledged as having the highest environmental impact.

The group comprises of Massey Feeds who operate from mills in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire and Preston and Holsworthy based Harpers Feeds.

“Dairy farmers face a huge challenge in meeting the target of being carbon net zero by 2040,” comments Managing Director Kynan Massey.  “Achieving net zero is going to require fundamental changes to how cows are managed.”

With feed being the largest variable cost of dairy farming and contributing up to 60% of a farm’s net carbon, he says it is a good place to start with reports suggesting that eliminating soya on dairy farms could reduce their CO2 by over 6%.

He adds that the issue of sustainability is rising up the agenda of milk processors and buyers which is increasing the immediate focus. Ingredient sourcing is one of the many factors being considered.

The new Planet Dairy Compounds and blends are available with a number of different protein levels to suit all production systems.  But they contain no soya or palm products.  The new range has similar energy and protein content to conventionally formulated dairy feeds, meaning that switching to more sustainable ingredients has not compromised the effectiveness of the diets.

“We have replaced soya bean meal, soya hulls, palm oil, palm kernel and C16 fats with equivalent established ingredients including protected rapeseed, sugar beet pulp and wheatfeed.  Fats have been replaced with non-palm alternatives.  All ingredients are included on the NutriOpt Dairy diet formulation database and farm results show the new range performs as well as other compounds.

“If a 200 cow herd feeding two tonnes of compounds and blends per cow per year were to switch to Planet Dairy from conventionally formulated products, they could save over 110 tonnes of the ingredients most closely associated with negative environmental impact.”

Mr Massey says the range also contains high quality minerals and speciality ingredients to drive rumen function and overall feed efficiency to further help reduce the CO2 impact of feeding dairy cows.

“We are continuously reviewing all the ingredients in the range to further improve the sustainability of the Planet Range and help farmers improve not only the sustainability of their purchased feeds but also efficiency of production to help meet carbon footprint targets.”

 

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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.