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The Milk House

Consider alternative ingredients to balance amino acids PDF Print E-mail
Dairy basics - Feed and Nutrition
Written by Kevin Herrick   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 08:46

Everyone is scrambling to provide healthy, balanced rations for dairy cattle while dealing with changing feed prices and fluctuating ingredient supply.

One component of dairy rations that constitutes a large expense, yet is critically important for maintaining production in high-producing dairy cows, is protein and amino acid nutrition.

Milk fat content, production a function of feed management PDF Print E-mail
Dairy basics - Feed and Nutrition
Written by Alan S. Vaage   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 08:27

dairy jersey cows eating feedMilk components are the principle source of revenue on dairy farms and vary with milk volume and fat and protein content.

While it is often said that on a given farm production will be a function of genetic potential and the meeting of nutrition requirements, in the case of milk fat content, this may not be true.

Digestibility: The key to unlocking forage quality, profitability PDF Print E-mail
Dairy basics - Feed and Nutrition
Written by Kevin Jones   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 10:13

Since a dairy cow’s diet consists of from 40 to 60 percent forage, the quality of that forage has an enormous impact on the performance and profitability of the dairy. What exactly determines the quality of forage?

Forage quality is determined by the nutrient content and the digestibility of those nutrients. Protein, NDF, fat, sugar and starch are the nutrients to be most concerned with.

Forage management: Consistency is key PDF Print E-mail
Dairy basics - Feed and Nutrition
Written by Isaac Mayer   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 12:16

With your 2013 harvest safely packed away, now would be a good time to think back and see if you can do anything better this year.

With forage representing 50 to 70 percent of most diets, the need for consistency and quality is paramount, especially as we move to even higher-forage rations, as was pointed out by all three presenters on a recent webinar, “Capture the Benefits of a High-Forage Ration.”

Alfalfa pests growers love to hate PDF Print E-mail
Dairy basics - Feed and Nutrition
Written by Dan Wiersma   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:47

Join the club. You are not alone in your disdain for alfalfa diseases and insects. Invisible disease organisms sit in waiting until the perfect environment exists to indiscriminately infect your alfalfa plants.

Insects seem to appear out of nowhere and then reproduce faster than the speed of light to aggressively feed on your crop. Both disease and insect damage can lead to significant loss of production, reduced forage quality and early stand loss.

The unforgettable 2013 corn crop PDF Print E-mail
Dairy basics - Feed and Nutrition
Written by Steve Massie   
Monday, 14 April 2014 14:44

corn in a fieldThe 2013 corn crop continues to limit milk production in many parts of the country, mainly because of its heavy bushel test weight. Reports of 60-pound bushel weights are commonplace this year.

The starch content of this heavy test-weight corn is slow to ferment in the rumen, which lowers the amount of the volatile fatty acid (VFA) propionate produced as compared to a more typical corn starch year.

Optimize seed-to-soil contact for high alfalfa yields PDF Print E-mail
Dairy basics - Feed and Nutrition
Written by Tim Clark   
Monday, 14 April 2014 14:29

A thick, healthy stand of alfalfaA thick, healthy stand is every alfalfa grower’s goal. Mother Nature throws plenty of curve balls, but using good management practices can help you come out the winner.

To successfully establish a crop of alfalfa, you must optimize seed-to-soil contact; it is the key to optimal yield. But how do we optimize that?

When can you lower dietary DCAD levels before calving? PDF Print E-mail
Dairy basics - Feed and Nutrition
Written by Elliot Block   
Monday, 14 April 2014 13:37

Dairy cows eating feedLowering prepartum dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) in the three weeks prior to calving to reduce postpartum metabolic disease is a tried and true strategy with proven success.

This nutritional approach has repeatedly been shown to reduce incidence of health challenges like retained placentas and hypocalcemia, which are two causes of expensive and significant reductions in reproductive performance and milk production.



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