The RationAssist program is a free service for our Molafos customers that helps farmers meet their production goals throughout the year. Using a feedlotting system and a mixer wagon, producers can use roughage, grain and other on-farm commodities with a liquid molasses supplement.
This helps provide livestock with a nutritionally balanced high-energy diet in a controlled environment, helping maximise weight gain and meet market specifications. The program helps counter seasonal and market conditions to meet production targets. Different medication options and combinations are also available to meet your needs.
Our support team can provide technical and budgeting support and feed analyses, while our highly experienced nutrition team can work with producers or distributors to prepare a feed ration formulation for use on farm.
These technical notes address day-to-day topics of interest to livestock producers.
Practical Use & Set Up Information
Getting Molafos to Your Farm
Pick up from a Reseller
GrainCorp Liquid Feeds have a number of storage tanks on-site at authorised resellers of Molafos across the eastern seaboard, South Australia and Tasmania. Please visit the store locator for your nearest location.
Most commonly resellers either provide or refill 1,000L IBCs. These can be conveniently loaded onto the back of a ute or trailer and delivered to the troughs on-farm.
On Farm Delivery
Bulk loads can be delivered directly to liquid supplement tanks on farm (approximately 12mt, 25mt or 38mt). Producers can choose to have a direct account with GrainCorp Liquid Feeds or purchase through their preferred agent.
We can customise supplement solutions when delivering directly to on-farm storage. The recommended tank configuration on farm is 24m3 flat base molasses tank or 35m3 cone based poly silo.
Feeding in open tubs is generally the most common and effective way of feeding small and large mobs of cattle. Poly troughs are cost effective and easily manoeuvrable when empty. As Molafos’ ingredients are held in solution or a stable suspension, the product is virtually weatherproof.
If water does get into the trough it will sit on top and remain uncontaminated by ingredients such as urea and vitamins, unlike many loose lick alternatives. Poly troughs are available from a number of distributors and rural retail stores.
When starting up on feeding Molafos in open troughs, allow free access and place near watering points or cattle resting points. This ensures that all the cattle find the troughs in the paddock. Feed out three days of supply and do not refill until day four. Once intake has stabilised, feed out seven days of supply and do not refill until day eight.
Once established on the product the troughs should be placed in other areas of the paddock to encourage cattle to graze out more and reduce Molafos intake (and not stay around just one area). Do not feed to starving or thirsty stock. Stock may need to be supplemented with salt (especially sheep) for one week to appease any salt craving.
When placing troughs, approximately 45 adult head per 500L trough is ideal. For younger stock such as weaners work on 55 head.
The roller ball and trough is also a popular solution when feeding cattle. The design helps to control intake. This also removes the threat of stock being pushed or falling into troughs. Roller lickers are produced by a number of poly tank and equipment manufacturers.
Covered feeders are dual purpose for feeding dry and wet licks. These are convenient if starting with a dry supplement solution and converting to a liquid solution determined by pasture quality.
Pouring on Hay or Pasture
There are a number of ways Molafos can be combined with hay or straw, and the best approach will depend on the time available, temperature, machinery and characteristics of the bale. Molafos can be:
Applied to windrowed hay/straw prior to baling.
Poured over the bales, then left for a day or two to allow penetration. Penetration can be assisted by using the hay forks to probe the bale, and also diluting the Molafos with water. The volume of water used needs to be considered, as increasing the moisture content can reduce the time to hay spoilage.
Added to hay choppers/mixing wagons as an effective way to coat the hay or straw evenly.
Sheep and Lambs
Commercially available poly troughs designed for sheep and lambs are also available. Covered lick troughs, or troughs with mouth holes may be useful for keeping wool clean. Fixing weld mesh across open troughs may also limit Molafos on the fleece. Importantly, Molafos is water soluble, so permanent staining of wool does not occur.
Storage and Handling
Molafos should be stored in a cool dry environment. When storing Molafos in bulk, a tank suitable for molasses storage should be used. The extra strength is required as Molafos is 1.32 times heavier than water.
Store in Plastic/Poly or Steel containers with Brass, Steel or Plastic fittings. Concrete may be okay but will corrode (can be coated to protect against this). Material should be recirculated for 10 minutes before use.
Tank and Pump Guide
- Minimum bulk delivery for Molafos is 9,000L (or 12MT), minimum recommended storage is a 22,000L (5000gal or 26 MT) poly tank.
- Molafos products have an SG of 1.25-1.35, so molasses/Liquid N tanks are recommended (rated to SG1.5)
- A firm hard base or concrete pad is required for flat bottom tanks. Please check with tank manufacturer for recommendations.
- Cone bottom liquid silos rated to SG 1.5 are recommended for storage of Molafos suspensions containing limestone or ionophores (sodium monensin, sodium lasalocid, etc).
- Cone bottom silos require a concrete pad and are bolted into place by the manufacturer.
- All Molafos products require some form of recirculation or agitation, to prevent settling over time. This is usually achieved by pumping compressed air into the base of the tank, or by recirculation of the Molafos via a return pipe from the pump.
- Tanks require venting to allow for pressure equalisation in the tank, which prevents splitting when filling, and collapsing when emptying.
- 75mm camlock fittings are required to match pipework carried by tankers for filling.
- “Gear” pumps and “Pacer” pumps are most commonly used to transfer Molafos.
- Gear pumps have lower flow rates, however they can pump a head up to 30m, with only a small drop off in flow rate.
- Pump diameters of 25mm, 32mm and 50mm are standard.
- Available in single and 3 phase electric, as well as 5.5HP Honda Petrol.
- Pacer pumps are suitable for lower viscosity Molafos products. May not be suitable for raw molasses or high molasses content Molafos products, or for use in cooler climates, particularly the Southern states in winter.
- Pacer pumps are available with a 6.5HP Honda motor and 50 or 80mm inlet and discharge ports. For pumping Molafos we recommend fitting high pressure, 5 vane impellers.
- Gear pumps work best when inlet and outlet pipe work is at least twice the diameter of the pump. Flexi-pipe, blue stripe HDPE poly pipe or class 12 PVC can be fitted.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why use Molafos Pasture Supplement?
Using Molafos will enhance your animal’s utilisation and performance on the feed available on your farm. It can be used on both growing and mature pastures as well as crop stubble and hay.
What are liquid Molafos supplements?
They are molasses-based products with added protein, minerals, vitamins and medications that can be fed to grazing beef and dairy cattle and sheep. Each sector requires different formulations as the needs of the animal are inherently different. These free flowing liquid supplements are superior to straight molasses, and modified to allow the products to be pumped more easily and flow more readily at temperatures as low as – 10 degrees C.
At GLF we have overcome any “settling out” issues by using high sheer mixing and where required, emulsifiers and suspending agents to ensure our mixes do not separate.
Why do we need to supplement poor quality pastures?
Poor quality pastures or a diet with inadequate nutrients may result in, lower reproductive efficiency, poor disease immunity, lower daily live weight gains or in fact live weight losses, reduced quality of meat and wool production and poor feed conversion.
How does Molafos comply with QA requirements?
Molafos is manufactured to the highest quality standards and is produced under strict in process testing in addition to external verification testing. Molafos production plants are Feedsafe Accredited.
How frequent do urea supplements need to be fed?
Feed urea containing supplements at least daily. A constant or continuous intake of urea will improve its utilisation over abrupt or periodic intake.
How many cattle for each trough?
Approximately 45 adult head per 500L trough is ideal. For younger stock such as weaners 55 head. Avoid stocking levels much higher than this as bullying can occur leading to inconsistent intakes.
Why do you recommend a liquid supplement over a dry lick pasture supplements?
In order to efficiently utilize urea, rumen micro-organisms require an energy source, such as starch or sugar. Molafos provides this energy source, not present in dry lick, resulting in far superior utilisation of urea.
Molafos gives superior acceptance by stock, ensuring a greater percentage of the herd eats the supplement.
Molafos is rain safe and may pose a lower risk of urea toxicity when compared to dry licks.
All active nutrients in Molafos are in solution, which eliminates the problem of lick separation and spoilage associated with dry licks.
Frequently Asked Questions About Supplement Timing for Pasture Fed Livestock
The timing for supplement feeding is important for farmers who want to maximise the return on their livestock.
Should I use supplement feeding during a drought when I expect the pasture to be depleted prior to the next rain event?
Answer – Yes
Why – By utilising the available forage through effective supplementation, livestock will be in better condition, allowing more flexibility in management decisions.
Should I use supplement feeding in the lead up to the wet season?
Answer – Yes
Why – Livestock body scores and subsequent conception rates will be higher than if no supplemental feeding had occurred.
What happens if I start supplement feeding when pasture quality and quantity is extremely poor?
Answer – Supplement feeding should not be started if available forage yield is below 1500kg/hectare.
Response to supplementation will be reduced if pasture quality is extremely poor, but may still be economic.
Why – Below this level there is insufficient forage to allow livestock to meet minimum Dry Matter Intakes required to maintain live weight.
Once protein and energy levels drop to below maintenance requirements, the level of supplementation required may become non-economic.
When should I normally start supplement feeding?
Answer -Before livestock start to lose weight.
Why – It is much more cost effective to maintain live weight, rather than try to recover lost live weight.