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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

Today’s dairy cows are genetically superior to your father’s cows. Intensive selection for milk yield and stature has produced bigger, more productive cows. When you combine this with improved nutrition and cow management, it’s easy to see why dairy feed efficiency in North America has doubled in the past 100 years.

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Companies
Neogen – Pat Frasco, Director of Milling and Grain
Lallemand Animal Nutrition – Tony Hall, Technical Services – Ruminant
Biomin America Inc. – Paige Gott, Ruminant Technical Manager
Alltech – Max Hawkins, Alltech Mycotoxin Management Nutritionist

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Alternative forages, such as sorghum or milo silage, have gained momentum with growers and producers. Sorghum, sudan, sorghum-sudan, milo and millet are all tropical grasses (C4 biology; warm-season grass).

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When a crop is harvested to be ensiled, it’s a race against time to minimize losses and preserve a majority of dry matter and nutrients in the form of digestible fiber, protein and energy. In order to have a successful preservation, there needs to be an absence of oxygen in the forage mass, along with sufficient production of organic (lactic) acids by lactic acid bacteria population.

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Have you ever played jazz or listened to it? If so, you know that great jazz musicians play their instruments in all sorts of creative ways, and they are very good at using different techniques to get the same wild musical riff.

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Packing, preserving and properly feeding from the bunk silo relies on feeder knowledge of the chemistry behind the crop. That was the basic premise behind the two-day “Feeder Schools” held by Cornell Cooperative Extension last fall and hosted by dairy farms in different regions of New York.

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