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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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There is hardly a component of the dairy that has not been researched. From management, genetics, nutrition, labor, parlor and housing design, equipment engineering and so on, every component of the dairy has been evaluated.

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The most profitable dairies all have one thing in common – they are really good at getting milk components from cows. 

They recognize the real value of milk lies in the fat and protein components and to get the best return on investment, they focus on feeding their cows for the most efficient component production, not just the highest milk production. In other words, they make sure every bite of the ration is working towards the right goal. 

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Technology has changed the way dairies do business—from the apps that show market prices, to the automated technologies in the milking parlor – progressive farmers are always looking for new ways to advance their operations. And when it comes to analyzing forage, U.S. dairy farmers face a unique challenge. 

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Given the ever-rising costs of feedstuffs and the tight margins in the livestock industry, animals need to be as efficient as possible at extracting nutrients out of feeds used in livestock operations. Enzymes are one of the tools that can be used to increase the efficiency of nutrient utilization.

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Many agricultural crops are harvested each year, stored and subsequently fed. To maximize preservation of the crops’ nutrients, we rely on fermentation. This is silage making. But the key to good fermentation is an anaerobic (absence of oxygen) environment.

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Feeding fat and fat products to dairy cows is common on most, if not all, dairies. Understanding how to properly feed fats and fat products is another story and seems to change daily.

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