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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

Growing winter forages, a great way to increase available inventory, maximizes the productivity of your land base. Fully one-third of sunlight received in temperate zones comes during the winter season.

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In increased frequency, we see headlines in the news about greenhouse gas emissions and animal agriculture. Methane is one of the main greenhouse gases of concern. Cows produce methane from fermentation in the rumen, also called enteric methane. There is a push to reduce methane production from cows to help with climate change.

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Producing quality hay is important whether you feed your own hay or sell it to others. When producing hay for on-farm use, we do not often consider its value, but it is still important.

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It might not seem like much when you walk through the barn and notice an empty feedbunk. The feed truck eventually drops a pile of feed, and the cows dive in to eat. All seems right with the world. While this may be the perception, reality tells a much different story. That period of reduced intake likely caused a fair amount of stress to the cow’s digestive system, doing more harm than many producers realize.

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Wet feedstuffs derived from the food and ethanol industries are valuable additions to cattle diets, when available within reasonable distance from the farm. They not only provide required nutrients, but their moisture content helps condition total mixed rations (TMRs), increases their palatability and reduces feed sorting by livestock. Depending on their water content and price, however, their purchase can turn into a questionable economic decision.

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More and more dairies are using drone technology to measure the size of their forage piles and more accurately estimate the amount of feed they have in inventory for the next year.

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