Milk fat reduction in grazing dairy cows

Feeding supplements as a partial mixed ration can alleviate milk fat reduction.

The concentration and composition of fat in milk has a large influence on the yield, quality and range of subsequent dairy products. It is one of two milk components on which milk payment systems are based, and although its farm gate price is generally less than half that of protein, its concentration in milk is more variable and can be manipulated more easily with farm management strategies.

Download the 'Milk fat reduction in grazing cows' fact sheet.

Key messages

  • Providing high amounts of supplementary grain to grazing cows commonly leads to substantial reductions in milk fat concentration.
  • Milk fat reduction can be avoided by careful selection of supplementary feeds.
  • Feeding supplements as a mixed ration containing maize grain and canola meal can lessen the disruption to rumen fermentation and increase milk fat concentrations.