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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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Total mixed rations (TMRs) as we know them today are an invention of primarily the last 50 years. Prior to TMRs, dairy herds were fed predominantly forages with a limited amount of grain delivered at milking time.

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The first Canadian national dairy survey was conducted in 2015. Not surprisingly, producers from every region listed feed costs as a concern for their operation. Yet there is an older technology to improve return over feed (ROF) only used by 50% of Canadian producers.

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Optimal forage management, from harvest to feeding, is essential to improve milk production, minimize health problems and increase farm profitability.

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If lower-lignin alfalfa seems limp and harder to run through the conditioner, check conditioner adjustments and pay attention to environmental factors that may influence success.

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Spring is the time when many farmers and ranchers think about pest management, especially weed and insect management.

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Each year I consult with several different producers regarding mineral issues in their feed. Some common things I hear are: “They just aren’t thrifty,” “They aren’t gaining like they should,” or, “We had more open cows than I was expecting.”

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