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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

The abundance and quality of forages for dairy cattle are impacted by weather and growing conditions. Despite our best management efforts, there is always a looming risk that adverse events will lead to a shortage of home-grown forages.

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Evidence shows feeding a negative dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) diet of -8 to -12 meq per 100-gram ration dry matter for the last three weeks prior to calving can help prevent a rapid decline in blood calcium around calving and improve cow health and performance in the subsequent lactation.

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Non-nutritive feed components have become a lightning rod topic over the past six to 12 months. A promising growing season in 2016 yielded less than desirable quality and some contaminants in many regions.

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Consistently achieving high milk production requires performing a balancing act. The goal is to produce the most milk with the greatest market value possible for the least cost. The cornerstone of most rations supporting high production while maintaining excellent animal health is high-quality forage.

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We are now well over halfway through 2017. This also means we are several months into the new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) and the new procedures and protocols that must be used when feeding approved antibiotics to dairy animals.

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As soon as the corn silage is chopped, a race against time begins. Growers understand the value of high-quality forages. They also know it is important to protect it with a quality silage inoculant.

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