News & Articles

FEI Learnings from First Season with Grading

Fat Evaluation Index update on 2018/19 season.

Presented by Gavin Scott, Programme manager milk safety and quality Fonterra R&D team – August 2019

  • In September 2018 the Fat Evaluation Index (FEI) was introduced by Fonterra to indicate the suitability of milk fat composition for processing.
  • The main driver of FEI is the amount of PKE fed and the PKE fat content, which can vary by a lot.
  • Other factors are amount and type of other feeds eaten. Fodder beets and potentially other sugar rich feeds eaten at higher levels (5 kg DM) along with PKE can increase FEI readings – although at a smaller scale than PKE intake.
  • Measurement of FEI is based on milk fingerprinting technology and results are reported to farms as a 6 day rolling average.
  • There are 4 grades reported to farms: A, B, C, D with A – good, B – alert, C – 2 demerits deductions 10% per collection day and D – 4 demerits deductions 20% per collection day.
  • The experience since Sept 2018 has been that most farms use FEI incredibly well, with a very small subset grading C and D

Non-members looking for more information are encouraged to use our ‘contact a nutritionist’ form and ‘member directory’ to find a member who can help them answer their questions.

If you are a Rural Professional interested in joining the NZARN please see our ‘membership’ section.

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