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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

Nitrogen (N) utilization is becoming a central component in ration balancing as dairy producers try to maximize milk protein yields, decrease feed costs and conform to environmental standards. Previously, our nutritional models and research in dairy cows dictated that we feed higher crude protein (CP) levels to achieve optimal performance.

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The narrative surrounding the environmental cost of producing milk and beef often paints a bleak picture. Because it is more palatable to dictate a reduction in meat and milk consumption to enact environmental change than to reduce fossil fuel use for transportation, agriculture is tasked to solve global climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

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This is a story of bureaucratic bungling, a Nobel Prize, three brilliant scientists, two countries, moldy hay and rat poison. I am talking, of course, about the discovery of vitamin K.

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In layman’s terms, what does IOFC mean?

Producers and nutritionists use this formula (income over feed costs) to determine the farm’s profitability and identify changes to help increase efficiencies. Feed cost can be up to 65 percent of a dairy operation’s cost of production.

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Interest in reduced-lignin alfalfa has producers wondering, “Should I grow it?” and dairymen wondering, “Will it give me more milk? And how should I feed it?” David Weakley, director of forage nutrition research for Forage Genetics International, discussed reduced-lignin alfalfa at a World Dairy Expo 2016 seminar.

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Recently, researchers at the department of animal and poultry science, University of the Saskatchewan, have completed a dairy milk production trial. This research is part of Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture’s strategic R&D programs.

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