Alltech Navigate, the pioneering advice service designed to help dairy farmers reduce feed waste and optimise input utilisation, has been adapted to allow continued access to free advice while maintaining social distancing and self-isolation guidelines.
With feed waste costing up to £216/per cow/per year, and the COVID-19 crisis adding another element of producer challenges, Alltech will continue offering the service to help farmers uncover opportunities for increased efficiency and cost improvements.
Bob Kendal, Alltech north region sales manager, explains how farmers can access the revised ‘contactless’ service.
“Farmers can register through the Alltech UK website as normal. Usually, once we’ve received an enquiry we would arrange a time to come out on-farm to carry out the Alltech Navigate assessment which looks at four main areas where feed waste can occur; in the field, during storage, at feed-out and inside the cow during digestion.
“However, with the current situation we are encouraging farmers to confidentially provide us with this information.”
Bob explains that farmers can share performance, fertility, health and diet data, to help build an understanding of the system and the farm’s challenges when it comes to feed waste.
“There is also a questionnaire which farmers will be required to complete so we can understand the silage making process used on-farm, which is information that farmers will be able to complete without the need to refer to any data.”
Bob estimates that this initial information gathering should take no more than 15 minutes as it is simple sharing of data and filling in questions. The second part requires more thought, as it involves walking around the cow sheds and measuring things that may not be considered on a day-to-day basis.
“Farmers can evaluate elements like feed barrier space, water provision, lighting and dung consistency to build a picture of the feeding system, cow environment and rumen efficiency. This will add the depth of information that is needed to make sure the recommendations from the Alltech Navigate assessment are tailored to the particular farm. Following the process can be a useful exercise in its own right, as farmers can consider parts of their system that they don’t think about on a day-to-day basis,” adds Bob.
Once this information has been gathered, Alltech will analyse the data and generate a report to share with the farmer, and an advisor will contact the farmer to discuss findings and recommendations.
The report quantifies in financial terms the losses from feed-out, health and fertility and the adviser will then discuss the options for farms to cut these losses, many of which have zero or little cost.
In addition to the contactless service, Alltech is running four Alltech Navigate webinars, starting on 22nd April, which will focus on how to reduce feed losses on-farm. The webinars are free with registration HERE.