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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.

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Recently, we completed two research trials on two dairy farms (each farm has over 1,500 cows) in Michigan. Cows were supplemented with a molasses-based liquid supplement from 21 days before calving to 40 days after calving. Trials ran for three months, and rumination data was collected on individual cows using rumination collars.

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Many dairy production operations have achieved very high levels of performance, and a change of any type can have a significant impact on milk production. Dairy cows perform at their highest levels of production when everything is consistent and “normal.” Cows like everything to be the same every hour, every day, every week and every month of the year.

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Crop rotation is an important part of a resilient and sustainable farming system because it breaks pest cycles, spreads the risk of crop failure and improves nutrient utilization, among other benefits.

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The Southeast U.S. has a tremendous potential to grow forage crops. Its mild winters and the possibility to grow forages 365 days of the year offer numerous possibilities.

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Triticale has become very popular with dairy producers managing cropping systems throughout much of the U.S. In most cropping systems, triticale functions as a winter-annual forage that includes fall establishment after the removal of corn silage or soybeans followed by a harvest of silage the following spring or early summer.

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For the past 20 years or more, emphasis has been placed on balancing diets for amino acids (AA) either by feeding rumen-protected amino acids (RPAA), especially methionine (Met) and lysine (Lys), or by combining feed ingredients to balance AA profiles.

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