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Peruse practical information for the dairy producer on essential topics including management, A.I. and breeding, new technology, and feed and nutrition.

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Why are fat supplements fed? Because in early lactation, cows cannot eat enough to meet their increasing milk production energy requirements. Thus, cows go into negative energy balance. This is an issue for especially the first one-third of a lactation. And, this negative energy balance is more pronounced and for a longer period of time for cows beyond their first lactation. Consequently, fat supplements are used to increase energy density of the ration. But, if a fat supplement decreases dry matter intake (DMI), the benefit of using it is decreased.

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The relationship between farmers and phosphorus is a complicated one. While farmers need phosphorus to ensure optimal plant growth, health and yield, small amounts can escape and cause significant problems in water quality. This complex balance is what Dr. Chad Penn calls the “phosphorus paradox.”

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This is the second of three articles in the series "Flipping your freestalls." Read the first, “Flipping your freestalls: What to watch for, how to measure.”

Tip 1: Improve the stall surface

When cows are not provided with a comfortable place to rest, they will not use or occupy the stalls well. Hock injuries are commonly observed in situations where cows are forced to lie on a hard surface or when insufficient bedding is provided.

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Our team at AgriStaff USA recently conducted a survey of over 150 Latino dairy employees throughout Wisconsin. We routinely conduct formal surveys to gather information about what employees find important in relation to their job. The surveys aid us in recognizing trends in changes of preferences, as well as guiding our clients in making the best decisions for their farms to attract and retain a quality workforce.

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“We have way too many calves with acidosis.”

“Rumen pHs are low, must be acidosis.”

“I need to switch calf starters; this one is causing acidosis.”

Have any of these thoughts crossed your mind? If so, you’re not alone. But, you might be missing the real question – do your calves actually have acidosis?

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