Feed is the largest cost for a dairy farm. However, the levels of accuracy when loading feed ingredients into TMR mixer is often low or below average.
Here are 6 ways to improve feeding accuracy on your dairy farm:
1) Set Goals
It is important to set achievable goals for feeding accuracy and share it with your feeder.
Review feed management software reports with your feeders and analyse if there are areas that can be improved.
2) Re-evaluate The Use Of Tolerance Level
From studies, over 46% of the ingredients have tolerance level which allowed deviation from target of more than 2%.
Use of tolerance levels for ingredients should be re-evaluated and minimised.
Communication is very important between managers and nutritionists with feeders.
Often times, feeders will get reprimanded for loading expensive ingredients over the target weight.
This will cause the feeders to load the expensive ingredients less than the target weights.
Loading errors will result in a TMR with nutrient composition different from what is formulated.
Hence, there must be good communication with the feeders on loading procedures as well as goals and suggestions.
4) Listening To Your Feeder
It is important to listen to your feeder as they have good suggestions to improve the loading process.
Loading ingredients precisely is a skill that needs time to master.
5) Premix As Alternatives
When formulating rations, be aware of the physical requirements to create the daily ration.
Sometimes, feeders may load a bagged ingredient first instead of third as the ration suggested.
This may change the mixing uniformity.
Adding small ingredients and bagged ingredients into premix will help to improve loading accuracy and mixing uniformity.
6) Ensure Mixer Scale Is Calibrated
Check if the scale of mixer box is properly calibrated.
It is difficult to accurately load ingredients if the scale number bounces up and down.
To minimise, ensure the mixer is parked on a flat surface.