Many UK dairy farmers could significantly boost their use of cost-effective home-grown cereals in cow diets thanks to a new range of versatile ‘alkalising’ feed options.

FiveF Alka – a specialist feed business – said it is now able to offer a bespoke alkalised feed solution designed to help dairy farmers make the most of what they can grow on their own farm.

“Many farm users of our alkalising technology are now feeding 20-40% more of their home-grown feed materials, cutting feed costs whilst also increasing milk output and improving longer-term profit factors such as cow energy status and fertility,” pointed out FiveF Alka general manager, Rob Smith, at the recent Dairy-Tech event.

To complement the alkalising technology developed over the last 30 years, it is also now helping partner feed companies to make a range of innovative new 'Alka' feeds.

“A great example of this co-operation is new Alkafibre. This new product is a joint development between HJ Lea Oakes and FiveF Alka, which can be distributed nationally," said Mr Smith.

"Alkafibre is made from oatfeed pellets, a feed ingredient perceived to be of low nutritional value. However, the alkalisation process improves the rumen degradability of this fibre, adds valuable protein and makes it highly alkaline, making it a very cost-effective alternative to more conventional ration fibre sources such as beet pulp and soya hulls."