Farm Table says:
This fact sheet was produced by the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in 2009 and is an overview of strategies that can be utilised by dairy farmers during drought conditions to minimise the impact of extended dry periods.
It identifies key factors and questions that producers should ask themselves, such as whether it is more economical to dry cows off early and cull more heavily to reduce feed demands rather than maintaining the number of cows being milked. It also includes nutritive values of various concentrates and conserved forages.
Key sections include:
- Knowing when to act;
- Homegrown and purchased feed;
- Ration formulation;
- Intake and production;
- Feed budgeting and herd management.
It also includes key ratios and percentages that can be used to compare to current rations being fed.
Whilst this fact sheet provides an intermediate level of information on drought management of dairy cows, it will guide readers to ask further questions that will prompt critical thinking to best manage their herd during times of drought.