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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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After surviving several months of high feed costs and stagnant milk prices, uncertainty still lingers over how all of us in the dairy industry will contend with 2011.

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Etiology of fatty liver and ketosis
Fatty liver syndrome and ketosis are metabolic disorders that result from intense fat mobilization during hormonal changes and negative energy balance associated with the transition period. The liver is an extremely important metabolic organ in transition dairy cows.

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The starch content of a dairy ration, how fermentable this starch is in the rumen and the total tract starch digestibility have a huge influence on many facets of a dairy operation.

Feed cost, income-over-feed cost, feed efficiency, milk production, microbial protein production, peak milk, lactation persistency, ketosis, fatty livers, displaced abomasums, colostrum quantity, butter fat, milk protein, weight loss in fresh cows, weight gain in late-lactation cows and heifer growth are all partially influenced by the level of starch in the diet and its level of digestibility.

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Most hay producers want to produce hay as profitably as possible. Establishing economic goals is the first step towards profitability. Once goals are established, farmers benefit by developing a management mindset centered on a business approach.

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Severe winter cold coupled with little or no snow cover can result in poor hay and pasture stands in spring. Plants may be killed or weakened, leaving barren areas in the field or thinning of the stand, depending on the severity of winter injury.

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When growing alfalfa, variety selection is only one key to maximizing yield and forage quality. Even the best seed genetics will never allow a crop to reach its full potential unless growers also take the necessary steps to identify their specific, individual needs prior to planting and establishing a successful stand.

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