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Learn about good on-farm wastage practices to help you during delivery and storage, mixing of diets and feed-out.

Feed waste

Imagine if half the feed you bought blew off the back of the truck before it even got to your farm.

That's the equivalent of what can happen without good on-farm wastage practices during delivery and storage, mixing of diets and feed-out.

The cost of feed wastage is assessed as:

1. DM amount bought that is offered to cows but not eaten.
2. Losses in feed quality such as reduced energy and protein value, contamination with moulds.

Key tips

  • Feed losses are most significant during feed-out.
  • Much more feed is wasted (up to 30%) when it is fed out on bare ground in the paddock or along a roadway than when fed out using a feed-out facility.
  • Make realistic allowances for feed wastage when developing your feed budget.
  • Even in a purpose-built feed-out facility it is difficult to totally eliminate feed wastage (because cows tend to toss feed over their backs while eating) - headlocks can minimise this.

More information

Feed - don'™t waste it (PDF, 520KB)

Overview of feed wastage, including ways to reduce waste, allowances for waste in your feed budget, waste-related trade offs and payback calculations.

Summary report - feed wastage study (PDF, 561KB)

Grains2Milk report that assessed feed-out wastage on 50 Australian dairy farms. Includes why study was undertaken, aims and methods, key findings and strategies to minimise waste during feed-out.

Major Initiatives

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Dairy Australia has established a network of Focus Farms to support farmer decision making. Find out how Focus Farms looks at the factors impacting decisions at any point in time, including seasonal and market conditions.


DataGene is an independent and industry-owned organisation responsible for driving genetic gain and herd improvement in the Australian dairy industry and is an initiative of Dairy Australia and industry.

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