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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

It is now recognized that defining and meeting the nutritional requirements of the dry cow can greatly impact animal health, production in the ensuing lactation, overall longevity and animal well-being. Nutrition and management during the dry period are essential in determining the profitability of the cow for the rest of her lactation.

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Feed efficiency may be called milk production efficiency or dairy efficiency, but all these refer to the same thing: How efficiently a dairy cow converts feed to milk. Far more important than the name is how this efficiency can affect a dairy’s bottom line.

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Like other mammalian species, the dairy cow’s requirement for protein is a requirement for specific amounts and balances of amino acids. Amino acid supply to the mammary gland can affect milk protein content and milk volume. In addition, amino acids can impact productivity by affecting metabolism and immune function.

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Gar-Lin Dairy Farms Inc. currently consists of 1,100 cows on 3X milking with 45 percent bST use. We have a 30,985 RHA with a 25 percent culling rate. All heifers and cows remain under our management and nutritional scheme. We grow our heifers on an accelerated growth program with an average age at calving of 23 months.

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Since the onset of the modern era of biotechnology in 1973, scientists have made impressive strides in developing new agricultural biotechnologies. Biotechnologies that enhance productivity and productive efficiency (feed consumed per unit of output) have been developed and approved for commercial use. Technologies that improve productive efficiency will benefit both producers and consumers because feed provision constitutes a major component (about 70 percent) of farm expenditures.

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[Today’s] distillers grains (DGS) tend to contain more protein, energy and available phosphorus than DGS from older ethanol plants, which likely reflects increased fermentation efficiency. Ethanol coproducts contain relatively high amounts of phosphorus, which can be a plus if additional phosphorus is needed in diets or a minus if excess phosphorus in manure needs to be disposed.

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