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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

Trace mineral supplementation is a critical part of a successful feeding program for all life stages of dairy cattle, especially for the dry and transition cow. The rapid transition into lactation at calving places significant challenges on metabolism to support lactation, immune function and maintenance.

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The weeks leading up to calving and the weeks following calving can be extremely challenging for dairy cows. One of the most obvious stressors during this time is the shift from gestation to lactation and the sudden and dramatic nutrient demand for milk production that accompanies this shift.

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Vitamin D is routinely supplemented to dairy cows to support a variety of physiological functions, such as mineral homeostasis and immune activity. Once absorbed, vitamin D is converted to 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH) D] (calcidiol) in the liver and enters the circulating pool.

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Heat in the summer is a given, and decreases in milk production and dry matter intake (DMI) will usually follow. Dairy cattle can begin to experience heat stress when the Temperature Humidity Index (THI) is equal to or greater than 68, which can happen with temperatures in the low 70s with moderate humidity.

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With overall feed costs representing anywhere from 35% to 70% of the total costs on a dairy farm, producers have unique strategies for managing feed costs and maintaining forage quality.

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As the conversation around climate change, agriculture and ruminants continues, the dairy industry will be under pressure to try various greenhouse gas mitigation techniques.

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