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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

Methane is the second-leading driver of climate change, having contributed 0.5 degree of the 1.1 degrees of human-induced warming since pre-industrial times, according to the latest assessment by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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In 2016, when California passed SB 1383, a global warming solutions act geared toward reducing short-lived pollutants methane emissions 40% by 2030 over the 2013 levels, the state didn’t have all the answers to completing that goal.

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Supply of digestible rumen-undegradable protein (dRUP = RUP x RUP digestibility) from high-protein feedstuffs is arguably the most important metric when determining the value of these feeds.

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Throughout my more than 30 years of studying fat feeding and lipid metabolism in ruminant species, the major emphasis was consistently on sources and feeding rates, but little attention was directed at fat quality.

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An earlier article on fat quality addressed lipid oxidation where fat in feed and body tissues is degraded to peroxides by heat and air. The accumulation of peroxides is held in check by antioxidants until conditions overwhelm the antioxidant defense system. The balance then shifts to excessive peroxide formation, which can cause tissue damage and impair animal performance.

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As dairy cows produce higher and higher volumes of milk, the need for a higher caloric intake is necessary to help support this huge demand for energy. Dairy cow diets typically contain some form of fat, either from rumen-active sources such as cottonseed, distillers, tallow and roasted beans or from rumen-inert fats such as calcium salts or prilled fats.

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