The financial costs of rearing heifers are well known and the reduction in costs by achieving first calving at 24 months, compared to 30 or 36 months is quite dramatic, he said. “But the added environmental impact of those extra months spent rearing are also important.”
Where first calving isn’t until 36 months a farm needs, on average, an extra 50% more youngstock raised. “With the average CO2 emission of a dairy heifer standing at 242 kg, prior to calving, that equates to the same environmental impact as a bus travelling 294 km.”
Across an average herd of 180 cows improving youngstock rearing and hitting the 24 months at first calving target can mean a saving of over £41,000 and a reduction in CO2 of 16,698 kg
Talk to your youngstock specialist about heifer rearing on your farm.
Feeding a second generation co-product such as SelcoPlus can reduce the need for bought-in compound feed and reduce the environmental impact of the cow’s diet by over 30,000 kg CO2 at herd level.
This equates to a saving of 186 kg CO2 emission per cow annually or the equivalent of 225 km travel on a bus. And there is also a financial benefit, he explained. “A diet using SelcoPlus can increase margin over purchased feed costs by around 16p cow/day.
Across an average herd of 180 cows using a co-product such as SelcoPlus can bring savings of £10,512 and a reduction in CO2 of 33,615 kg.
Talk to your ForFarmers Account Manager about how co-products can benefit your farm
Made with a specific variety of linseed, high in Omega-3 fatty acids, Lintec has a proven track record of supporting high performance dairy cows, explained Andy. “With the added bonus of providing significant environmental benefits by helping reduce methane emissions in dairy cows, Lintec can play an important role in supporting successful, sustainable dairy businesses.”
Feeding Lintec can improve milk production by as much as 1.5 litres a day, improve cow health and fertility and reduce calving interval by 10 days age at first calving. Together these lead to an economic benefit of nearly £5 per cow per year.
Lintec’s methane reduction benefits work in two ways, a reduction of 7% through rumen function and 3% from increased yield from the same level of inputs. Feeding Lintec can save 209 kg CO2e/cow/year or the equivalent of 253 km travel on a bus.
Across an average herd of 180 cows, using Lintec can drive milk yields while also delivering a reduction in CO2e of 37,683 kg.
White clover contains rhizobia bacteria in its roots which ‘fix’ nitrogen from the air. This can supply 50-200 kg N/ha per year to the plant which is equivalent to 1 to 4 kg Nitrous Oxide ‘fixed’ by the clover. The warming effect of Nitrous Oxide is rated as 300 times more potent than CO2, so each hectare of white clover has the capability to fix Nitrous Oxide equivalent to 300–1,200 kg CO2e.
Based on 60ha of grassland, this would represent 18,000 – 72,000 kg of CO2e explained Andy. “That is the equivalent of 400 kg C02e N fixed per cow per year or the equivalent of 484 km travel on a bus.” There are economic savings associated with white clover too with £150/ha saved in nitrogen costs and increased milk solids worth around £192 per cow per year.
Across an average herd of 180 cows the annual potential benefit of introducing white clover is £43,560 (savings from reduced N requirement and milk yield) and a reduction in CO2 of 72,000 kg.
Talk to your ForFarmers forage specialist about how white clover can benefit your farm.