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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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For many years, the expectations for high milk production along with excellent herd health and reproductive performance were considered at odds with each other. It was believed you should not and could not expect to achieve high milk yields without compromising herd health and reproductive performance.

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Some of the major concerns in the dairy industry regarding the implementation of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) were increased costs due to management changes and unavailability of in-feed antibiotic medication.

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The number of farms with automated milking systems has rapidly increased in North America over the past 15 years. Despite the increase in adoption, there have been very few controlled studies that have evaluated feeding management strategies for cows milked within automated milking systems.

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The growing season from East to West coasts the past year has been somewhat like stock and futures markets. Several months of (early season) conditions and expectations changed markedly in a matter of a few weeks. To quickly recap, parts of the western U.S. continued to experience dry conditions through the growing season.

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How cows eat and ruminate is just as important as the nutritional composition of the feed in front of them. Make the most of every minute at the bunk by understanding dairy cow behavior and incorporating that into daily herd management.

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Part of a nutritionist’s job is to give recommendations for the target level of refusals needed for maximum profitability. A typical goal is 2 to 5 percent, but this varies a lot from farm to farm, with a few farms even having a goal of zero refusals.

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