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Thread: Complete ration forage only?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SC KY, transplant from Mitchagain
    Posts
    317

    Default Complete ration forage only?

    Would it be possible to come up with a total forage ration that would supply all the needs for milking herd? Except mineral and salt. Possibly even combining different plants to harvest all at once?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    37

    Default

    It is possible. I work with a farm that is grass certified and they mix tmr with baleage , dry hay, mollasses, and mixture of salt and minerals as well as on pasture during grazing season. Milking about 200 cows. Genetics play a role in being able to be forage only and production is quite lower than your avg. Holstein.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    199

    Default

    It's done all the time. Doesn't take much. Back in the early 90's before grazing was such a hot item I knew a guy that fed nothing but pasture and what he could bale during the summer. He had a couple nutritionists come in and try to make him a "modern" ration but none could make him more money than he was making with his grass.

    Ran an organic grass fed herd a few years back. Nothing but grazing when the pasture was on. Fed hay when the pasture was done. Would have liked a bit of something like barley baleage as well but things fell through and didn't pursue farming after the first year.
    We ran Normande, Holstein, and Hojos. Fed kelp and a mineral from Vigortone. When I did the paperwork for FSA I figured production at 10,000 and that was optimistic.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Tasmania, Australia where the grass is always green
    Posts
    1,798

    Default

    Forage only used to be a common practice throughout Aus and more so NZ. Being fazed out with need for better efficiency and productivity of grazing area with such feedstuffs as concentrates and bought in supplements that can help mitigate risk of feed shortages, etc while driving competitive stocking rates.

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