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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

In the daily demands of running a dairy, most of us who work with dairy cows might not reflect on how amazing they are.

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Clostridial diseases can be among the most puzzling problems on a dairy. That’s because C. perfringens and other clostridia species occur naturally in soils, water and throughout the dairy environment.

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From an economic perspective, once we have invested in a robot or automated milking system, the goal should be to maximize the milking capacity of the robot. Because of its limited capacity of milking time, we should concentrate on maximizing the milk yield per cow because we cannot increase the number of cows per robot.

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It’s every dairy producer’s goal: Get more milk out of homegrown forages and spend less on purchased feeds. It sounds so easy but, in reality, getting more milk out of our homegrown forages is accomplished in many small steps rather than giant technological leaps.

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What is the best ration to feed to your dairy cows? An excellent question and one that has confounded dairy producers forever. We tend to focus largely on what is fed to the lactating herd since this is the main revenue source.

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The low milk prices in recent years have motivated many dairy producers to cut back on feed costs. Certainly all producers and nutritionists should be evaluating their rations to make sure they are feeding the most cost-effective ration.

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