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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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Forage quality is the Achilles’ heel for any ruminant nutritionist. The better the forage coming out of storage, the better the nutritionist.

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Lignin in corn silage and forage has been compared to the rebar in concrete, providing the structural integrity and strength to hold the road or driveway together.

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In the wake of difficult growing conditions that plagued the Midwest in 2019, stretching feed with creative forage solutions was the topic discussed by dairy producer and forage consultant Daniel Olson of Lena, Wisconsin, and dairy producer David Johnson of the Western Upper Peninsula at the recent Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

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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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