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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

A successful dairy operation entails a careful balancing of many small details, while keeping a clear focus on the items that will boost profit per cow and lead to greater long-term financial strength. How to make this happen on a continuing basis is a challenging part of dairy management.

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No one likes to run out of a feed. What should you do if you run out of a feed? When you run out of corn, get some [more] as soon as possible. However, oftentimes this is an inevitable situation, and luckily there is a temporary solution for it called feed substitution. The substitute for a feed is one or two feeds with a similar nutritional make up, on a protein, energy or fiber basis.

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When milk prices are down, independent nutritionist Greg Bethard has this advice for the dairy producers he serves: “Stay the course with your rations.”

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The basic driving forces for manipulating the composition of milk are much the same now as they were 25 years ago. They include:

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Cows like to eat high-moisture feeds. Remember the cow grazing? There are high-moisture byproduct feedstuffs we can feed our cows. How much do high-moisture feeds really cost? Are they a good buy compared to the alternative? Here is how you can make that decision.

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The management of feeding and nutrition are the primary areas of interest when attempting to reduce lameness problems. This may or may not be the correct approach, depending upon the specific types of lameness experienced. For example, it would be hard to influence the incidence of infectious foot diseases (foot rot, interdigital dermatitis or digital dermatitis) by manipulation of the diet alone.

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