Heightened dairy farmer awareness of the need for targeted nutrition has culminated in the construction of a new feed blending plant.
"Dairy farmers are realising that pastures alone haven't got the horsepower to provide the nourishment that matches their cows' genetic potential," says Ingham Feeds & Nutrition feed mill manager Oscar Stevens.
"Under the 'Acu' label, farmers will be able to have complete confidence that the specifications and nutrition content of what will initially be five different mixes is totally accurate."
Construction of the $2.5 million plant at Ingham's Bisley Rd site in Hamilton took four months. Because there was only a 12m x 3m spare space, the blending plant's design was a mix of off-the-shelf components as well as bespoke elements.
"The other big advantage of our new mill is that the blends are thoroughly mixed," says Stevens, a bread baker in former life. "That means there's no hot spots or cold spots within the Acu blends."
The addition of the 'Acu' range to Ingham's supplementary feeds will also allow farmers who are new to boosting their cows' performance to gauge the profit-potential of the blends.
Ingham's pelletised TopCow range generally have to be fed in-shed by individual troughs as each cow is milked. The Acu range, which has been developed in conjunction with Tasmanian animal nutritionist Pip Gale, can be dished out on a feed pad, mixed with silage or dolled out in a paddock.
"Dairy farmers can dip their toes in the supplementary feeds arena, with total confidence that what the label says is totally accurate," says Stevens.