What is Energy Balance?
The Energy Balance service provides insight into groups of cows suffering from a lack of energy before any detrimental effects set in. This allows remedial actions to be taken to help minimise production losses, disease and poor fertility.
The service has been developed by NMR in partnership with SRUC, and funded by Innovate UK. It uses the 'pattern' produced when testing an individual cow milk sample to evaluate the animal's status.
All NMR recorded herds can benefit from the service, which is based on the analysis of the milk recording sample. We'll test every cow at every recording, and as long as the milk sample passes quality criteria, your results will be available via NMR's online reporting, Herd Companion.
What Are The Benefits?
- Proactively identify groups of cows suffering from lack of energy before any detrimental effects occur.
- Prevent further conditions which are the precursor from poor energy balance, such as ketosis, metritis, infertility, lameness and mastitis.
- Stop just relying on monitoring body condition scoring and/or blood analysis, which is often too late to overcome.
How Does It Work?
- Uses advanced milk analysis techniques
- Monitors energy intake levels from a milk sample.
- This is an additional service to our milk recording options.
- Proactive rather than reactive approach to nutritional performance
Frequently Asked Questions
When we test the milk in the lab for butterfat, protein and lactose, we shine a mid-infrared beam through the milk. This is called MIR analysis and is similar to the NIR analysis performed on silage samples. The MIR analysis generates 1,060 data points. When these are plotted out to form a wavelength, we look at the pattern of this wavelength, fingerprint, and animal information to calculate the cow's energy status.
Yes, the service is for anyone who wants to take a proactive interest in managing nutrition. However, we advise you to work with a nutritionist to get the best results.
When you are enrolled on the service, as well as your current energy balance results, you will be able to view energy balance results for previous milk recordings.
The production of the energy balance values is based on micro-analysis of the MIR milk spectra. If any of these 1060 points of data are out-of-line, then a result is not calculated.