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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.

LATEST

While weather is a constant uncertainty for dairy farmers, 2012 brought with it distinct challenges as alfalfa and grain suffered from drought, heat and destructive insects in Eastern Canada.

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Many of the protein sources used in dairy rations are byproducts of the production of oil for food and industrial uses: soybean meal, sesame seed meal, linseed meal and canola meal, for example.

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Reproductive performance in dairy cattle has been on the decline for the last four to five decades and has played a large role in involuntary culling. Substantial time and effort has been committed to research to better understand this issue, but effective solutions may be a culmination of multiple factors.

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Your nutritionist could be the most valuable member of your corn silage chopping crew – even though he or she probably will never drive a chopper or packing tractor. Knowledge of your ration and cows can allow your nutritionist to make suggestions for improvement based on how last year’s silage crop fed and how your herd performed.

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Rotating alfalfa with corn can increase corn yield potential through improved soil physical properties that enhance water infiltration and root extension, a reduction in disease and pest pressure (i.e., corn rootworm) and an enhanced soil microbial community.

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The 2012 growing season has reached the finish line, and for many it was a year we hope to never experience again. With producers working hard this summer and fall to get enough feed for the year, many questions came across my desk regarding summer forage crops, late cuttings of alfalfa and a wide variety of other topics related to the recent drought and subsequent feed shortage.

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