Ration Planning

Our comprehensive NutriOpt Feed Rationing System is regularly updated to take accounts of all the developments that improve our understanding of how to ration cows effectively. Following discussions with your NWF Feed Specialist the program will formulate a cost-effective, balanced ration with sufficient levels of all essential nutrients to suit growth and animal welfare requirements.


The new NutriOpt dairy rationing system will be widely available on dairy farms and constitutes the biggest development seen in our understanding and application of dairy cow feeding for over 20 years.

There are two key areas which have helped define the advances in dairy cow productivity over the last 50 years, contributing to increases in yield and productivity which, to many, were unimaginable.

The first is the advances in genetic technologies. Better indices, more rigorous selection and the introduction of techniques such as semen sorting, embryo transfer and genomics have all helped farmers breed more potentially productive cows.

The second has been the evolution of more effective dairy nutrition models which have helped us to feed cows with increasing precision to allow them to realise their genetic potential. We have progressed through hay and starch equivalents to the ME system which, although introduced in the 1970s, still largely underpins our current feeding approaches.


Sieving is a technique that helps you get the best from your rations.

The way cows perform on a diet depends not only on the nutritional specification of the diet but also on the physical form of the ration. We have been working closely with Trouw Nutrition in a research project to modify the sieving system used in the United States (the Penn State Separator System) and make it suitable for UK forages and systems. The result is a mechanism to assess the physical breakdown of diets and to compare what is being fed to targets and to modify diets accordingly. The system predicts what the breakdown of the particle sizes will be when the diet is formulated. It also assesses the quality of the fibre in the diet and how effective it is in promoting chewing and rumination, both of which are essential for good growth. The system enables you to check the ration fed is what is expected following mixing and post feeding.

Contact your local NWF FAR registered feed specialist or call our technical team on 0800 756 2787 to find out more information on our NutriOpt feed rationing or diet sieving.