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Feed & Nutrition

Learn about all aspects of the dairy cow ration, from harvest to storage and balancing additives to forage supplementation.

LATEST

What is the best way to go about choosing genetics for your grazing herd?

“No single ideal pasture-based cow exists,” says Ted Probert, regional dairy specialist with the University of Missouri Extension.

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As a nutrition consultant, I want nothing more than to see my clients thrive. When their dairy has success, so does the family and community around them. With success, however, human nature can allow us to sometimes get stuck in a rut because what we are doing has worked in the past.

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“If you look at modern, large or expanding farms, the ‘big three’ headaches are transition problems, excessive calf death loss and mastitis,” points out James K. Drackley, professor of animal sciences at the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign.

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As the trend of automation continues to rise in the dairy industry, so does the popularity and interest in robotic milking systems. Robotic milking systems can provide new opportunities in herd management.

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According to the USDA, the national corn crop in 2016 was in the neighborhood of 15.2 billion bushels; prices are hovering somewhere around $3.50 per bushel, which is much less than those prices we saw in 2012 (an average of $6.89 per bushel), but much more than what we paid in 2005 ($2 per bushel).

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Animal protein (animal byproduct meals) sources have been used in dairy cattle feeding programs for years. Products such as blood meal, fish meal, meat and bone have long been known for their ability to supply rumen-undegraded protein and, more recently, metabolizable protein and critical amino acids (lysine, methionine).

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