The free prize draw on the McLarnon Feeds stand at the RUAS Winter Fair proved a popular attraction once again this year.
All entrants had the chance to win one of six £100 vouchers, kindly sponsored by AB Vista, Premier Nutrition, Barenbrug UK, Provimi, Trouw Nutrition and McLarnon Feeds.
The prize winners were: Russell Boyd, Garvagh; Andrew Geddis, Moira; Alistair McCullough, Broughshane; Geoffrey Patton, Carrowdore; Andy Cowan, Banbridge; Geoffrey Tinsley, Dromore.
Harold Stevenson, McLarnon’s Ruminant Sales Manager, said: “Congratulations to the six prize winners on their success in this year’s competition. On behalf of McLarnon Feeds, I would like to thank our suppliers who kindly donated the £100 vouchers and made this year’s prize draw possible. I would also like to thank all the farmers who visited the McLarnon stand at the Winter Fair and I wish them a prosperous 2017.”
Reflecting on the past year, Dr Ronald Annett, Ruminant Technical Manager at McLarnon Feeds, added: “2016 was a difficult year for the dairy sector, but thankfully it ended with dairy markets improving and the outlook more positive.
“The year ahead will be one for steadying the ship and striving to get better, not bigger. Look especially at the hidden costs in your system and fine tune your management to squeeze out some extra margin.”
The main advice from McLarnon Feeds is to:
1, Maximize feed efficiency by feeding to yield as closely as possible. Using tail tape or grouping cows into high and low yielding batches is a good first step, if computerized feeding systems are not available.
2, Focus on improving cow health and fertility. Get tough on lameness and mastitis, work on improving heat detection, and pay more attention to transition cow management.
3, Pay close attention to milk quality.
4, Eliminate passengers from the herd, especially the repeat offenders (lameness, poor fertility, chronic mastitis).
5, Improve youngstock rearing and target calving at 24 months.
6, Plan to grow more grass in spring and utilize it better. Testing your soil and applying lime or granulated lime to correct the pH could be the best investment made in 2017.
For further advice contact your local McLarnon Feeds Adviser (details on www.mclarnonfeeds.com) or ring the office on 028 796 50321.