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Malijo consulting
314 Hicks Road,
Echuca Village 3564

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"Production is up 21% year-on-year, cows are getting back in calf quicker and the herd has never looked better, in all a great decision bringing Malijo Consulting on board"

Russ & Beck McMillan - Nanneella Vic.


"Hi Mark. Thanks for your visit the other day, for saving me money and making me money. The cows are up two litres/day and I'm saving money on purchased hay, they are going great. Thanks again, Danny".

Danny Leahy - Girgarre Vic.


“Malijo Consulting has helped us significantly increase productivity and as a result improved efficiency, pushing our farming system into the future.                              

 Brad Windridge – Leitchville.


“Since introducing the GT 10 to our herd, the cows have performed better, had lower cell counts and fewer mastitis and never been happier!”                                

Brad Wren – Strathmerton.


The evidence mounts for the use of Ethi-Cal in transition

I recently received an email from a colleague that has been working with a local herd that during the Autumn calving period chose to do some of their own trial work in regards to transition feeding. I attach the excerpt from the email for your own interpretation.



Looked at some interesting numbers today out at a herd that i have started with for cows that calved in march,

Ethical group: 30 cows, on 33.3 L today, peaked at 35.3
Lead feed group: 43 cows 29.2 L today, peaked at 33.2
Both groups had an average of 3 lactations per cow. 

The farm owner even seemed to think the lead feed group had some of the better cows in it as well, 3 of which were sitting on 50 L

We then looked at taking the first lactation cows out of those groups

Ethical group: 25 cows, 34.7 L today, peaked at 36.8 L on day 74
Lead Feed group: 39 cows, 29.8 L today, peaked at 34.1 L on day 64
Both groups had an average of 4 lactation per cow

Cool Banana's".

I know as well as anyone that this is very much uncontrolled and purely anecdotal, but its a nice little endorsement for trying something new and really exciting.
There is more and more evidence starting to emerge from herds that during the Autumn calving period chose to transition thier cows using the all new Ethi-Cal product, breaking all the conventional "Leed Feeding" rules along the way.
Many of the herds that chose to use this strategy have seen significant improvements in production, not only of Milk, but also milk fat, but probably most sginificantly in milk protein production. With Joing in full swing, we really look forward to the potential benefits of this strategy on the ever growing Fertility challenge.....we'll keep you posted.




Average production figures May 2013

Even though the Autumn months have been challenging for maximising pasture productivity, on average the Malijo Consulting group have stuck with it and kept production levels up, and as result will capitalize on the significant increases in milk price that comes with the winter months.

Its also important to note that in many situations (thankfully none of the consulting group) we are seeing the result of mismanaged feeding strategies from the spring. In many cases it was advised by some consultants/advisers in the industry (again not by Malijo) that feeding cows to peak was unnecessary and not profitable. However what we are now observing in these systems is cows producing very little milk/solids (often <15 litres) as a result of the cows not maximising production/intake early in lactation.

Its pleasing to note that the consulting group are producing roughly 25% better than district average (according to average herd test data), and produced marginally better than May last year, and all going well will produce significantly more in June 2013 than they did June 2012. A great effort!

Average Production May 2013


Fertility, is it an issue on your farm?

Fertility is becoming if not already the biggest barrier in profitability on dairy farms. 

The team at Malijo Consulting has plenty of ideas when it comes to fertility and the longer term consulting clients are enjoying the rewards of trying new strategies at combatting this ongoing issue.

Fertility is the culmination of your efforts in providing cows with enough energy, balancing their RDP and BP protein requirements, delivering adequate minerals and vitamins to your cow throughout the year and transitioning your cows properly.

DCAD may also be an issue after you have resolved all the other issues on farm; here is a short spiel on DCAD and the return it can deliver while improving fertility.

DCAD was previously thought to be only important in dry cows for lead feeding, however as we realise what an effect it can have on the lactational response of cows and also cow health; the industry has begun to look more closely at the DCAD of the average cow diet.

So what is DCAD? DCAD means Dietary Cation Anion Difference. This is basically (Na + K)- (Cl + S). These ions are found in all fodders and influence the health and functioning of a cow in a negative or positive manner. Basically a DCAD with a lot of Sodium and Potassium is high, and can cause metabolic (in the blood) alkylosis. A low DCAD (high Sulfur and Chloride) cause metabolic acidosis. 

This can be a good thing if we need to mobilise Calcium reserves in a cow, however there is a significant influence on animal performance and fertility if she experiences a low DCAD everyday of the year. 

So how does this work? Basically there are optimum concentrations for these ions and optimum ratios between the Sodium, Potassium, Chloride and Sulfur.

Chloride; for example is the chief anion involved in gastric secretion for protein digestion (NRC,2001).We also know that amino acid metabolism and acid base homeostasis are intimately related (Patience, 1990).Amino acids are the building blocks for the production of milk protein. 

Raising DCAD to 370-400 mq/kg has been shown to improve acid-base balance (Hu et al, 2007). This in turn influences protein test.

Sulfur levels are particularly important in regard to this balance due to their effect on cytochrome oxidases.  This starves the animal of energy and causes all kinds of health detriments including lower milk production and solids production (Crawford, 2007).


Let’s talk money

On some trial farms we have observed a point percentage increase in both protein and fat by influencing DCAD positively. We have also seen an increase of a litre on average.

Cell Count has dropped significantly also. 

If we assume a cow is producing 25 litres at a 3.4% protein test and 4.0% fat; then after optimising DCAD then she will do 26 litres at a 3.5% protein and a 4.1% fat.

In monetary terms, this is equivalent to


Protein :                               25 grams x $9.50

                                                = 24 cents 

Fat :                                       25 grams x $3.00

                                                = 7.5 cents

1 extra litre:                       = 45 cents


Total Increase:                  + 76.5 cents


Cost of Supplement:        - 10 cents

(200 g Bicarb)


Return:                                7.5 : 1


The review by Sharif et al (2010) also implies an increase in the ovarian activity and hormonal profile of cows with a DCAD closer to 400 mq/kg. This means that DCAD has an influence on fertility.




Managing the DCAD of your herd’s diet may be instrumental in increasing production, improving health and increasing fertility.

However it is only going to have an effect if you have solved the energy balance issue on your farm (cows are fed well), solved protein balance and provided your cows with adequate minerals and vitamins. If you suspect your DCAD is of concern you should consult with your nutritionist on how to get your herd back on track.


Average production figures April 2013

The pastures have continued to be really slow due to a real lack of rain, however production has been very similar especially relative to last season. Its interesting to note that production in relative terms to last season is almost identical however we have achieved this production with slightly less concentrates (0.5kg DM per cow per day); which in turn has that (due to increased grain prices this season) our grain spend is only 1 cent per litre above last season on average, but as it stands with milk price month on month being 2 cents per litre higher, our Margin over concentrates is actually 3 cents/cow/day above April 2012.

Its also interesting to note that on average we are as a group milking slightly more cows this season than last. The dilution effect on the likes of overheads etc should see an improvement in margins etc in the coming months...fingers crossed. 

Average production April 2013


Average production figures for March 2013

Its been a tough month with many of the pastures not kicking into gear like we had hoped all of our summer crops/feeds really struggling with the decrease in temperature etc. As a result we have seen a significant decrease in average per cow production, couple this with less cow numbers due to our ever changing calving patterns and you have a large decrease in overall production, explaining why we are seeing tougher times than we had anticipated. 

Average production March 2013