Current market conditions make us all strive for more efficient performance at minimal costs. Dairy cows are now more than ever under pressure to produce more and need to be well looked after to ensure longevity in the herd.

South African dairy farmers are offered a wide range of products which promise to improve, maximise and enhance herd performance. Being able to screen these products logically and methodically can help to prevent throwing out the good instead of the bad!

Zinpro Corporation identified a set of objective criteria to evaluate their unique organic trace minerals called the 5R’s, based on a proceedings paper by Prof Mike Hutjens of the University of Illinois. The guiding principle Prof Hutjens highlighted is that all feed additives can be evaluated in the same way.

The 5R’s are return, response, repeatability, research and reassurance.

Using these 5R’s:

Return: Does the product offer a profitable return on investment (no hypothetical calculations and if ’s – get proven data)?

Response: Is this return on investment based on dairy cow response that was generated in actual controlled, well conducted research trials (not farmer observations)?

Repeatability: Were the research trials repeated? How many times, what is the statistical significance of the repeated response? Look for a minimum of P<0,05 – this means that the result found in the trial would have come about by chance less than 1 in 20 times.

Research: Show me the product research that was fully published in peer reviewed journals, which proves the repeated profitable response. Peer reviewed articles are reviewed by a panel of experts who determine if the procedures used in the trial and the conclusions are fundamentally sound.

Reassurance: Show me the manufacturing quality, safety and reassurance certifications. Reputable companies should have ISO, HACCP, FAMI-QS or GMP+ quality control certificates and should be  responsible for the actual manufacturing and not simply for the marketing or distribution of the product.

How many of these 5R’s do your current feed additives meet? These should give you – the dairy farmer – a stronger position as to what to expect from a product and to justify the use on your dairy. If the product cannot be proven through valid science and sound economics, that proves a high probability of success – should you be taking the gamble?

Zinpro and Chemuniqué are committed to bringing disciplined business approaches to your additive evaluation process through quality trace-mineral supplementation.

Talk to your nutritionist or feed sales representative about the inclusion of Zinpro Performance Minerals® in the diets of your cows and calves.

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