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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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This month, we’ll talk about the new alphabet of fibre: a, pe, om and ICP. Don’t worry, you haven’t wandered into an academic spelling bee. But seriously, have you recently submitted a forage sample to a laboratory?

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Over the past couple of decades, advances in forage genetics, forage agronomics, forage harvesting and ensiling have enabled dairy farms to feed progressively more forages as a percentage of their total lactation ration.

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What is the best ration to feed to your dairy cows? An excellent question and one that has confounded dairy producers forever. We tend to focus largely on what is fed to the lactating herd since this is the main revenue source.

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If we look at the composition of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), we see that they contain a significant amount of fibre.

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Feeding robot herds does not have to be intimidating. The cows still receive all the nutrients they need. However, instead of all of the nutrients being in the TMR, some are fed in the partial mixed ration (PMR), which consists of all the forages and some protein and energy sources at the feedbunk.

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The harvest has come and gone, taking much of the opportunity to prevent shrink in your feed storage, but these winter shrink tips from three nutritionists across the U.S. can help your operation save money and protect your herd’s health no matter what kind of weather winter throws your way.

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