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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

Fatty acids are one of the last major nutrient categories to be truly “balanced” in our dairy cow diets. Several factors have come together recently to make now the era of fatty acid balancing. First, producers are getting paid more per pound of milkfat as a percentage of their milk check.

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As nutritionists and dairymen, our goal when feeding dairy cattle is to provide each group of cows with the nutrients needed to support their milk production, maintenance, growth, health and reproduction.

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With current low milk prices and negative profit margins, dairy farmers and bankers are asking nutritionists to reduce feed costs. On some farms, all feed additives have been removed, which may save 30 to 40 cents a day, but leads to reduced fertility, lower milk yield and components, and poorer health status.

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Successfully implementing a robotic milking system starts with a clear understanding of the impact and demand on the nutrition program. While robotic systems can be the solution to many challenges on the dairy, they are not without challenges of their own.

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No two days in my life are the same. I work with a very diverse group of nutritionists and dairy producers so that no two days repeat themselves. Let me give you a grand overview.

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If you already do a good job with feeding management and monitoring pre-fresh cows, then implementing a moderate negative DCAD diet is just adding some minerals. Cows on a moderate DCAD diet are mildly metabolically acidified with a urine pH of 6 to 7, which gives you a little safety measure if DCAD drift occurs.

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