On September 19, 2018 MYMP directors and other young dairy farmers gathered for a social evening and an opportunity to learn about the nutritional side of dairy farming. This year the focus was on butter fat and heifer nutrition. The event was held at the Quality Hotel in Abbotsford and started with a make your own ice-cream sundae bar. The evening was sponsored by RBC.
Brittney Schurmann from Trouw Nutrition started the evening off her presentation on milk fat and heifer nutrition. Brittney focused on four main topic areas: milk fat and factors affecting production; example scenarios of pro-milk fat and anti-milk fat; heifer nutrition goals and growth monitoring; and heifer nutritional requirements and goals. She discussed the factors that affect milk fat production; including both non-feed related factors like genetics and feed related topics such as feed management, nutrition, and management. She provided eight strategies to maximize milk fat. Her take home messages for heifer nutrition were: what you feed and how you care for your heifers from birth to calving will affect future production and health; if you “cheap out” now, you will “pay” later; set heifer goals; monitor growth; test forages; and finally provide a nutritionally balanced ration.
Steve Saccomano from RBC was the second speaker. He focused on heifer raising and butter fat economics. His main discussion areas were: butter fat history lesson; current butter fat pricing; optimising butter fat and CDQ; cost of heifer raising; home versus custom raising; and heifers versus purchasing replacement. He answered the question whether it pays dairy farmers to raise the butter fat kilos. He reviewed the costs, advantages and disadvantages of raising your own heifers, raising heifers off-site, and purchasing replacements. He also looked at raising heifers in Alberta.
Over all, a great evening on the nutritional side of dairy farming. An interesting look at both the nutrition and economic aspects of increasing butter fat and raising heifers.
MYMP would like to thank RBC and Trouw Nutrition for their generous sponsorship of this event. MYMP would not be able to hold these events without such support.