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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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Following the current increase in overall production costs, dairymen, nutritionists and feed industry professionals are actively looking for management alternatives to maximize dairy operation efficiency.

Since 30 percent of dairy cows in a herd leave the dairy roughly 90 days postpartum, proper nutrition – particularly through the dry and transition period – has a significant impact on the animal’s longevity and performance.

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Many dairy operations large and small continue to be plagued by a high incidence of metabolic disorders and infectious diseases around calving. Turbulent transitions increase health care expenses, decrease milk production, impair reproductive performance and result in premature culling or death. Farm profitability and animal well-being both suffer. Despite many years of research and field emphasis, practical management strategies to minimize health problems while still promoting high milk production have remained elusive.

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More than any one thing, the amount of milk a dairy cow produces ultimately depends upon the amount of feed she consumes every day. The more feed you can get a cow to eat, in a properly balanced diet of course, the more nutrients there are available for her body to absorb and metabolize – and make milk.

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With the price of corn nearly doubling over the past year, producers are looking for more economical alternatives.

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Hoof health is something that many dairy farmers don’t spend a lot of time thinking or worrying about – until they see a few of their cows tip-toeing around the feedbunk or alleyways.

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If you’ve been involved at all with dairy nutrition over the past six months you’ve definitely heard terms like “feed utilization,” “improved efficiency” and “rumen microbial breakdown.”

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