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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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Plants need nitrogen to grow and produce high-quality crops. How much will be required is difficult to predict with absolute certainty. What we do know is that the soil in crop fields can be a very important source of nitrogen for crop growth.

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There are numerous approaches to manage nitrogen to fertilize crops. Many of the pros and cons were described and summarized in the 2018 Agronomy Journal publication “Strengths and Limitations of Nitrogen Rate Recommendations for Corn and Opportunities for Improvement.”

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In 2021, the level of corn rootworm (CRW) resistance to the current Bt-RW corn varieties will increase another significant level with associated yield losses.

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Warmer temperatures will be here soon. It’s time to start strategizing. As temperatures begin to rise in April and May, humidity can follow. This combination of temperature and humidity can impact your herd. The temperature-humidity index (THI) is an indicator of when heat stress may occur.

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Early in my career, I had a feed store manager tell me, “Only the rich can afford cheap feed.” While he was partially correct, feeding dairy cows does allow us the opportunity to feed a variety of byproducts, based upon their nutrient value. There are a variety of software options that can describe the relative value of byproducts compared to more traditional feedstuffs, such as alfalfa hay, corn silage, corn and soybean meal.

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Any nutritionist will tell you that optimizing dry matter intake (DMI) is one of the most important factors in achieving target milk production.

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