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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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In a previous article, it was noted that high-palmitic-fatty-acid (greater than 80%) supplements most often decrease dry matter intake (DMI). And, since many studies with that type supplement have been done with midlactation cows over a short term (21 days), it raises the question as to what would be the response in early lactation cows?

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Transition cows get a lot of attention in the herd, as the transition period brings significant challenges.

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It is a moving target that changes. Not only does the presence of mycotoxins change year by year due to field conditions, plant stress, moisture or drought, the conditions within a bunker or forage bag can be different in different locations.

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Fresh cows experience many stressors and challenges in the first few days and weeks after parturition. These stressors and challenges take their toll on the cows’ immune systems, making these cows more susceptible to metabolic and health problems. It is crucial that dietary needs are met during the close-up dry period, as well as after calving, in order for the cows to get off to a great start for lactation.

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“My feed bill is too high. How can I cut my feed costs?”

As nutritionists, it’s a question we hear often. And, on dairies with robots, it’s no different.

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Corn silage is the go-to homegrown forage for supplying digestible starch and fiber high-producing cows require. Often, however, shortcuts and oversights during the growing, harvest and storage processes can limit its resulting feed value.

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