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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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While beet pulp is well-known for being an energy concentrate that cows love, feed beets have yet to be discovered in a big way.

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As nutritionists and dairy producers, our goal when feeding dairy cattle is to provide each group of cows with the nutrients needed to support their milk production, maintenance, growth, health and reproduction.

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Recently, among the different dietary fatty acids (FAs), considerable attention has been given to palmitic acid (C16:0) because of its potential to increase milkfat concentration and yield. Additionally, C16:0 has consistently increased feed efficiency compared with diets not supplemented with fats and other options of FA supplements.

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Successfully implementing a robotic milking system starts with a clear understanding of the impact and demand on the nutrition program. While robotic systems can be the solution to many challenges on the dairy, they are not without challenges of their own.

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Dairy farmers are interested in producing higher levels of milk solids, as milk is valued or priced based on milkfat, true protein (does not include milk urea nitrogen contributions) and other solids (lactose and minerals). Several considerations to improve milk components be discussed in this column.

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Part of a nutritionist’s job is to give recommendations for the target level of refusals needed for maximum profitability. A typical goal is 2 to 5 percent, but this varies a lot from farm to farm, with a few farms even having a goal of zero refusals.

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