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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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Early in my career, I had a feed store manager tell me, “Only the rich can afford cheap feed.” While he was partially correct, feeding dairy cows does allow us the opportunity to feed a variety of byproducts, based upon their nutrient value. There are a variety of software options that can describe the relative value of byproducts compared to more traditional feedstuffs, such as alfalfa hay, corn silage, corn and soybean meal.

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Any nutritionist will tell you that optimizing dry matter intake (DMI) is one of the most important factors in achieving target milk production.

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A cow’s ration is the recipe for success for producers, providing vital nutrients their cows need to stay healthy and optimize performance. Producers have a variety of feed ingredients they can choose from to help support their cows’ needs and meet their production goals, but balancing different nutrient profiles and ingredient availability can be challenging.

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Pounds of milkfat and milk protein shipped, also known as milk component yield (MCY), accounts for more than 75% of the milk check. With milk volume supply constraints in play, maximizing MCY has never been more important.

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The goal of any forage program for a dairy is to grow and harvest the highest-quality feed for the cows.

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The value of a forage report comes from its analysis and the actions taken by the farm thereafter.

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