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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 number of independent Corn Silage Hybrid Testing Programs are conducted across the country. Over the past two years the hybrid evaluation trials conducted in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont have come together to develop a unified testing network.

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In a whole farm context the focus on high-quality forage has shifted to the right-quality forage for each group of animals on the farm. This, however, is not an excuse to relax goals on producing high-quality forage. We all know that a number of factors, from weather to equipment breakdowns, can ruin the best of plans.

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The dairy and livestock industries have seen continued advances in options available to improve forage management, from crop species and variety selection, to harvest management, to recognizing the class of animals on the farm that will most benefit from different forage types and qualities.

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While almost 90 percent of alfalfa acreage in New York is sown with a perennial grass, alfalfa acreage in the rest of the U.S. may average more than 90 percent pure alfalfa. Interest appears to be growing in alfalfa-grass mixtures across the northern tier of states.

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Calibration of yield monitors during the harvest season is essential to obtain accurate yield data, but even if calibrated properly, the data obtained from the yield monitors still needs to be cleaned.

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Corn silage and grain yields have steadily increased since World War II (Figure 1) with a slightly greater increase per year for corn grain than for corn silage, possibly reflecting an emphasis on corn grain improvement by plant breeders in the past decades.

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