A leading dairy researcher from the USA will be touring the UK in October and is visiting the south west.

Bill Weiss, professor of dairy cattle nutrition from Ohio State University, is touring as part of a Mole Valley Farmers roadshow looking at ways to optimise the lifetime performance of the dairy cow.

He will be drawing on the latest research from the US to answer key questions such as: What’s the best way to group cows? How do I boost milk fat and protein? What vitamins and minerals do I really need to feed?

The workshops all fall under the theme of the “Latest Lessons for a Lifetime from the USA” and are designed to provide practical, on farm solutions, lead by science.

One of Professor Weiss’s areas of expertise lies in vitamin and mineral nutrition. He said: “Minerals and vitamins are absolutely essential to maintain health, reproduction and production by dairy cows. However, over supplementation can be detrimental to all of those.”

He’ll be highlighting how vitamin A can be best targeted according to stage of lactation and basal diet, whilst keeping costs down and meeting the cow’s needs. Copper requirements and toxicity risks will also be placed under the microscope.

Grouping cows for health and profit will be another topic up for discussion. Professor Weiss will run through how best to decide feed rate for a specific group and also how to split cows for nutrition, production and health efficiencies. He will also talk about fresh cow management strategies and go into detail on dietary requirements at this time - particularly around amino acid nutrition.

Different ways to balance the diet to optimise milk fat and protein requirements will also be discussed. Crucially, Professor Weiss will underline the importance of ‘doing the maths’ to establish the return on investment of feeding more to achieve higher milk constituents.

The events in the south west are taking place on the following dates:

• Wednesday October 30 - Y-Farms Partnership, Manor Farm Dairy, Downhead, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 4LG (11am-2pm)

• Thursday October 31 - Trethorne Golf Club, Kennards House, Launceston, PL15 8QE (11am-2pm)

Events can be booked by calling 01278 444829 or emailing lifetime@molevalleyfarmers.com

READ MORE: Show-stopping cattle and futuristic agri-tech at Dairy Show