AgriScot saw the launch of Alltech's pioneering new advice service which promises to increase profit margins by a minimum of 1.2p per litre through reducing feed waste and optimising input utilisation.

Bob Kendal, Northern ruminant sales manager at Alltech, said the free service aims to help dairy farmers get more out of feed inputs.

“Feed is the single biggest variable cost for most dairy producers and it’s therefore vital that farmers are taking steps throughout the entire feed process to minimise the level of feed waste and underutilisation.

“By managing the factors that can be controlled, such as forage quality, cow health and fertility, and feed conversion efficiency (FCE) – all of which impact the level of feed waste – businesses will be better equipped to withstand external pressures,” said Mr Kendal.

Results from Alltech’s feed waste reduction and utilisation on-farm pilot studies carried out earlier this year, suggest that feed waste could be costing as much as £216 per cow, per year in higher-efficiency UK herds and in excess of £500 per cow, per year in 'average' dairy systems.

According to Mr Kendal, these results highlight a significant opportunity for all dairy farmers to reduce the level of waste and drive higher margins from feed inputs.

“It can be relatively easy to achieve incremental gains and the Alltech Navigate service – which involves an on-farm assessment – identifies the pinch-points for feed waste and underutilisation within the system and puts a monetary value against them.

“This helps farmers make well-informed strategic decisions on what steps, and potential investment, is required,” he added.