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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

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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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to livestock production, of which 37 percent is methane.

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As an industry, we’ve made significant strides in improving feed efficiency. However, when we dig deeper, we have some work to do. Protein is one of the most expensive parts of the ration and there remain vast opportunities to improve protein efficiency.

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The formulation and management of dairy cow diets has become increasingly more dependent on computer programming and modeling over the past two decades.

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