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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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Similar to a crime scene investigation unit, nutritionists often seek out evidence pointing toward a causative factor when troubleshooting. In some cases, the herd symptoms and challenges are odd, and contributing factors are not very easy to sort through even for well-seasoned consultants.

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Managers and owners often have the tough decision of weighing what expenses must be reduced, while still increasing profit and, above all, how to be most efficient.

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Mycotoxin contamination, caused by molds and fungi that appear in feed, is an urgent concern in dairy rations across the country this year. A recent mycotoxin report warns that contamination levels in the 2018 crop present a medium-to-high risk to livestock.

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The trace mineral requirements of dairy animals is a topic that continues to receive a great deal of attention, and rightfully so. Although trace minerals comprise less than 0.01 percent of the total mass of an organism, they are essential for normal function.

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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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Forage quality is one of the most important factors that determines the level of milk production and profitability of a dairy farm. Traditionally, forage quality has been defined by the nutrient content and digestibility of the nutrients in a forage.

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