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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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Keeping productive and healthy cows longer positively impacts the profitability of a farm. Since the cost of raising a replacement heifer is about $2,100 to $2,500, it takes more than one lactation to pay it back. Therefore, a dairy cow will start to be profitable only once it is in its second lactation.

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A few years ago, a new forage grass appeared on the North American market called festulolium. Festulolium is the result of a cross between a fescue and a ryegrass that offers increased yield and feed value compared to the individual species.

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The first edition of the International Silage Conference (ISC) in 1972 – called “Silage Seminar” – was held in Edinburgh and was open exclusively to British researchers. The conference has since evolved and is now held every three years and hosted by various countries throughout the world.

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The number of farms with automated milking systems has rapidly increased in North America over the past 15 years. Despite the increase in adoption, there have been very few controlled studies that have evaluated feeding management strategies for cows milked within automated milking systems.

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In box-type automated milking systems, rest feed is feed programmed for the cow to receive at the robot but not consumed for various reasons. It could be because the cow did not have enough total visits to the robot, not enough time in the robot to consume the allotted feed, or the feed was not dense enough or palatable enough to be consumed efficiently.

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The transformation of nutrients from a predominantly green and brown feed mix into a creamy white, life-sustaining liquid called milk by the dairy cow is a truly amazing process. One of the main components of the dairy cow’s milk is fat (butterfat). It is the component by which Canada’s supply management system is managed.

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