Feeding Strategies

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

9/5/2018

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

5/22/2018

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

Feed is the biggest category of the input budget; therefore the biggest target f

A Cost Control Checklist

4/12/2018

There is no joy at the feed bunk. Everyone’s focus is how to keep costs down. Feed is the biggest category of the input budget; therefore the biggest target for tightening costs.

Tags: Feeding Strategies, Management Tips

Grouping Strategies to Efficiently Utilize Ration Nutrients

Grouping Strategies to Efficiently Utilize Ration Nutrients

3/8/2018

Dairy farmers might be overfeeding a large proportion of lactating cows when the same ration is fed to a large group of animals. Diets are normally formulated to provide enough nutrients to the most productive animals, but may result in giving extra nutrients to less productive individuals due to inefficient nutrient utilization.

Tags: Feeding Strategies

Cows Crave Consistent Feed

Cows Crave Consistent Feed

3/5/2018

Cows crave consistency. Milking time, udder prep, feed delivery, animal care and handling, reproduction and the nutrients delivered in the ration should be the same day in and day out.

Tags: Feeding Strategies

Do's and Don'ts of Feed Rations During Low Milk Prices

Do's and Don'ts of Feed Rations During Low Milk Prices

3/1/2018

Feed represents more than half of a typical dairy’s operating costs. When milk prices decline, cutting feed costs is often a tempting first strategy for producers and their nutrition consultants. However, when it comes to nutrition management, short-term cost cutting may lead to long-term and expensive consequences.

Tags: Feeding Strategies, Milk Prices

Burning Questions to Save Money on Feed Costs

Burning Questions to Save Money on Feed Costs

2/28/2018

Low milk prices can have a real impact on dairy farmers. When this occurs, cash becomes short and farmers have to make some tough decisions. They start to look for ways to reduce expenses while also maintaining milk production.

Typically, the biggest expense for a dairy farm is feed costs – both purchased and farm-produced.

Tags: Feed Costs, Feeding Strategies

Good Mixer Loading, Better TMR Consistency

Good Mixer Loading, Better TMR Consistency

2/5/2018

Proper loading plays a big role in mixing performance.

Tags: Feeding Strategies, Management Tips, TMR

Focus on Prefresh During Vitamin Shortage

Focus on Prefresh During Vitamin Shortage

1/17/2018

In the past month, news has come out that vitamin A and E shortages will ring in 2018 as vitamin production was interrupted in late 2017. A plant fire in Germany and shifting production in China caused the perfect storm for dramatically rising vitamin costs that may linger into summer of 2018.

Tags: Feeding Strategies, Transition Cows

4 Steps to Lower Feed Costs

4 Steps to Lower Feed Costs

1/10/2018

Emotional decisions that impact cash flow can hurt more today than when prices are higher. During low milk prices, decisions are driven with emotion, but today it needs to be different. Decisions must be measured and well thought out.

Because feed costs are typically 50% to 60% of total operating expenses, we need to generate the most milk margin per cow while maintaining health and reproduction. Decisions on how to feed cows should be made with those objectives in mind.

Tags: Feed Costs, Feeding Strategies, Management Tips