Feeding Strategies

The small steps that save them feed


As corn silage and fourth crop haylage are being packed into bunkers, piles, and silos, now is a good time to be thinking about ways to reduce feed losses in the year ahead. That was the topic of discussion during a recent Iowa State Extension “Dairy News and Views” podcast.

Ethan Wise of Foresight Farms in Decorah, Iowa, shared a few practices they implemented on their farm to help reduce shrink. When it comes to understanding the value of feed, Wise said, “Probably one of the biggest problems is the gap between management and who is doing the mixing, and that person knowing what that feed costs.”

Tags: Feed Management, Feed Quality, Feeding Strategies

How to feed your dairy herd under extreme volatility

How to feed your dairy herd under extreme volatility


Volatility: friend or foe?

From labor, to equipment, to dairy supplies, to feed availability, and even prices — volatility is a new normal for us to manage in our dairy businesses. Some have cast volatility in a negative light. However, with change comes opportunity! Remain steadfast in seeking the positive with the undeniably changing dairy business landscape ahead. Despite volatility and changes, there are exciting times ahead for our dairy industry. Consumers throughout the world continue to demand more nutritious dairy protein and butterfat, and our industry is poised to deliver!

Tags: Feeding Strategies, Management Tips

Don't Lead Feed Prices Shortchange Peak Milk

Don't Lead Feed Prices Shortchange Peak Milk


With livestock feed prices on the rise, many farmers will be looking for ways to reduce input costs. While there may be opportunities to trim unnecessary spending, University of Illinois’ Mike Hutjens cautioned farms against making cuts that will impact milk production.

“If we are feeding dairy cows, we only get to set the peak milk curve one time in each lactation,” he said during the November Hoard’s Dairyman webinar. “Don’t let high price feeds cut the lactation curve.”

Tags: Feed Costs, Feeding Strategies

Work closely with your Nobis Agri Science nutritionist to develop a program.

Keep Your Feeding Program Priorities Straight this Fall/Winter


The busyness of the summer season is finally over, but it has some producers staring out into their fields wondering what they need to do to help stretch their feed inventories throughout the fall and winter.

Tags: Feeding Strategies

feeding strategies with lower milk prices

Feeding Strategies with Lower Milk Prices


Because feed costs can represent 50 percent of the total cost to produce milk, dairy farmers are trying to reduce feed costs. However, with the wrong feed choices, farmers could save 10 cents a day while losing 50 cents of income.

Tags: Feed Costs, Feeding Strategies, Milk Prices

Rising Feed Costs Impact Dry Cows and Heifers


With rising feed costs, ensure that proper nutrition is maintained for growing heifers and dry cows.

Tags: Feed Costs, Feeding Strategies

Manipulating Milk Protein Percentage and Production in Multiparous Lactating Dairy Cows


The protein content of milk has become much more important in recent years. This reflects its higher value to dairy farmers due to the continued high consumption of cheese. There are a number of factors that affect production of milk protein by dairy cows. These largely reflect inherent characteristics of the cows and the diets that they are fed. 

Tags: Feeding Strategies, Productivity

A feeding plan that can save you money

A feeding plan that can save you money


There’s a feeding strategy that allows you to put less feed in front of heifers, improve their feed efficiency, reduce nutrient excretion, and save you money.

Tags: Cost Management, Feeding Strategies, Heifer Management

Fatty acid nutrition: More than bringing added calories into your diet


Often when nutritionists think of fatty acid nutrition, our minds turn to fat supplements. However, the area is much broader than dairy cattle diet fat supplements and should be recognized as such.

Milkfat concentration has now become a focal point for nutritionists and farms, given the value per pound has eclipsed that of protein and, in some months, accounted for well over half the milk check.

The three nutrition management areas within the fatty acid discipline include TMR fat supplements, milkfat depression and now also milk fatty acid profile.

Tags: Feeding Strategies, Nutrition, Transition Cows

Costs of Compromising the Ration

Costs of Compromising the Ration


It’s common to see a little spoiled silage on the top and sides of a bunker or near areas where covers weren’t repaired quickly enough. It is important to avoid the temptation to feed this spoiled silage — even in small amounts. Don’t compromise a carefully crafted total mixed ration (TMR) with spoiled silage. The drawbacks far outweigh any perceived benefits.

Tags: Feeding Strategies