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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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The major fatty acids (FA) fed to dairy cows are palmitic (C16:0), stearic (C18:0), oleic (C18:1), linoleic (C18:2) and linolenic (C18:3). The first two have been extensively reviewed in their individual and complementary effects.

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When we consider the future of food and feeding the population, we also must consider the fact that we will have to produce more food in the next 30 years than we produced in the history of mankind.

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The process of feeding dairy cows has evolved rapidly with the rest of the industry. Gone are the days of a scoop of this and scoop of that – from printed feed sheets to feed management software, we’ve certainly come a long way.

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In the last few months, the dairy industry has seen significant swings in farmgate milk prices due to COVID-19 disrupting markets. A highly variable milk price puts tremendous pressure on maximizing income over feed cost (IOFC).

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Cold stress is recognized as a major challenge in managing dairy calves, and rightly so. However, a mature dairy cow can also respond negatively to prolonged cold weather, albeit more subtly.

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Most dairy feeding studies are conducted in midlactation, providing vital information regarding the nutritional needs of cows. Since 2000, 28 such feeding experiments have been conducted evaluating canola meal as an ingredient for dairy cows (Canola Meal Dairy Feeding Guide, 2019).

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