Study tour reinforces benefits of Lintec

Earlier this summer, ForFarmers sent two dairy farming customers on a study trip to Sweden, where they had the chance to mix with farmers from across Europe and share their experiences of utilising Lintec to help support high performing dairy cows.

Knowledge
Dairy
Dairy Nutrition

What the tour involved

The three-day study tour to Sweden brought together farmers from 10 different dairy systems, spread throughout the UK and mainland Europe - from France in the West to Slovakia and Hungary in the East. And while this diverse group of farmers operate a range of different dairy systems, the one commonality is their desire to better utilise Lintec to further improve cow health, fertility and performance.

This groups of ‘farming ambassadors’ included two of my customers, Steve Annandale and Simon Heath,” explains ForFarmers’ Clive Slawson, who also took part in the trip. “On both their farms we are feeding high levels of Lintec, at rates between 1-1.5 kg per cow, per day and the trip really reinforced why we are doing this and the benefits that come from this higher rate of feeding."

“We visited three farms in Moholm and Rosdala and also took part in a number of presentations and discussion groups. It was a good experience and while we got some interesting insights from our European neighbours, I also feel that they got a lot of positive, useful information from Steve and Simon too.”

Lintec study tour

The findings

The study group was able to examine the feeding and milk production systems of each farm they visited, all of which run herds with cows consistently yielding over 42kg of milk per day, at 170- 180 days in milk.

“It’s clear from our collective experiences that if your aim is to improve health and fertility while also getting the best performance from your cows, the decision to use Lintec is a no-brainer,” continues Clive. “It is a cheaper alternative than C16 fats and the lift in milk yields achieved when feeding the product means it pays for itself, even before taking into consideration the health benefits."

“I feel that the three days spent in Sweden really helped to reinforce the confidence that everyone had in the product. If we really want to make a positive impact on cow performance, the trip clarified that we need to be feeding at least 1kg of Lintec per cow, per day and getting IT3 levels above 100 – ideally up to 120."

“If we do this, then cow health will be improved by reducing metabolic stress, rumen performance will benefit due to reduced levels of acidity in the rumen, fertility will improve, and cows will experience more efficient digestion in terms of kilogrammes of DMI per kilogramme of milk produced.”

Environmental benefits

The study tour also reiterated the positive environmental impact that Lintec can have within dairy herds by helping reduce methane emissions.

“There has been research in the past that demonstrates Lintec’s ability to help reduce methane production in cows by improving efficiency within the rumen,” concludes Clive. “New data shared on the study tour confirmed this positive impact on methane reduction, with new figures illustrating how feeding 1kg of Lintec per cow per day will reduce methane emissions by 10%

To Conclude

“Overall, the trip was a great experience, and it was good to meet other likeminded people and forward-thinking farmers who are looking at ways to improve the health and performance of their cows.”

Insights from Sweden

Steve Annandale is one of Clive’s customers, and runs a robotic dairy unit in Shropshire, where he is currently milking 77 Holstein Friesian cows through two Lely robots.

“We have been working with Clive for a number of years and Lintec has become an important part of our cows’ diet,” explains Steve. “When we were given the opportunity to go on the study tour to Sweden, I was very keen to go along. It’s always interesting to see how different farmers do things and you never know what you are going to learn."

“The group of farmers on the tour was very diverse, from one couple who were running a smaller robotic herd in France, to a Slovenian producer who had 650 cows and lots of staff. Just talking to these producers from all over Europe, getting their take on things and how they approach certain issues, was very informative."

The three farms we visited in Sweden were all feeding higher rates of Lintec, at 1.5kg per cow per day, and noticing the benefit of doing this. They were a mix of systems, with one farm running two robots, another running a robot alongside conventional milking, and the final one a much larger scale, conventional herd."

“A lot of the talk during the tour and through various presentations was about using Lintec to support healthy cows, capable of producing more than 50 litres of milk. It was a good reminder that we need to keep looking at ways to improve cow performance, and clearly robot management, forage, and supplementary feed – of which Lintec is a part – all have a key role to play."

It’s good to see that our yields have gone up by about three litres per cow over the last couple of years, and now Clive and I need to think of our next targets.”

Steve Annerdale farm facts

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