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Knowledge ahead of the herd

Formed out of the passion of personally milking cows on his father’s farm Andrew Holland, the founder of Ontrak Nutrition wanted to share his experiences and knowledge with similar like-minded, forward thinking milk producers. Ontrak has steadily grown over the past ten years and has established a team of consultants who can advise you on how to maximise your profit. This comes from understanding what the forage can offer the rumen and which raw materials are then required to balance it.

An example of the inaccuracy of the current feeding system used in the UK, is when cows are brought in from autumn grazing. An advisor may recommend that cows are housed as the “grass is worth nothing” and the weather “is poor”. The first thing that will happen in this scenario is that the mid and late lactation cows will drop their milk… why?...This is due to the amount of un-fermentable fibre that has increased in the overall diet. This increased level of fibre reduces their dry matter intake. Energy is driven by intake and therefore the addition of excess fibre reduces the intake of energy. Ontrak’s experience has shown that current industry standards of NDF, ME and crude protein figures do not provide an accurate picture of what goes on in the rumen. Subtle changes in the nutrition means the difference between profit and loss for any business, and certainly the difference between getting cows in calf or not.

An Ontrak visit to the farm is precise, to the point and factual. We will show you what we are looking for or looking at and give you a full picture of the issues you may have, or improvements you can make. We will discuss with you and show evidence of all our findings. We will help and strengthen your understanding of what the animals are trying to tell you.

We will collect the data at each visit and provide you with a report of recommendations in order to meet your herd’s full potential.

Full inter-herd analysis is carried out if the farm uses NMR, QMMS or CIS recording systems. Monthly costings via Kingshay are also completed to compare your performance with others in addition to milk profiles, reports and appeals.

I have found Ontrak to have a scientific and cow friendly approach to feeding, with rations focused on getting the best out of the cows for production but not compromising on health.

S Mitchell

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