Dairy Herd Management Dairy Herd Management

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Read advice and tips on dairy nutrition.


If you use pasture, make a plan

There are six to seven months out of the year when pasture can figure into the feeding management strategy for all animal groups on Pennsylvania dairies. There are numerous benefits to the animal and producer who can incorporate pasture into the ration however there are also some challenges that go along with grazing.


Do you know why you're feeding a TMR?

Since its inception in the 1950s, the total mixed ration (TMR) is now the most adopted method for feeding high producing, indoor-housed dairy cows in the world. Feeding a TMR helps a dairy cow achieve maximum performance.


When is hay dry enough?

There is a great misconception that once hay is “dry” and baled it is plain and devoid of life. The truth is that hay is never completely dry, and it is full of microscopic life. If the hay is not dry enough, those microscopic life forms can cause major problems. It’s alive.


Q & A: Effects of feeding spoiled silage

Feeding spoiled silage can have more serious consequences than decreased animal intake and production. It can lead to reproduction problems and impaired herd health. Disposing of the spoiled silage can feel like throwing money away, but it may be the best solution.


Hulless oats as a potential farm-grown feed grain

Oats as a feed grain fill a niche in today’s livestock production systems. Oats have always been a popular grain feed for horses. They are “bulky” and unlikely to cause digestive disturbances. They can be fed to beef and dairy cattle with little processing needed in most cases. Dry rolling or steam rolling increases dry matter intake of oats.


Best practices for harvesting alfalfa

Growers and dairy producers require high-quality alfalfa forages, which makes timing of harvest critical. It’s important to determine forage quality in the field to optimize harvest timing, especially in the spring.


Forage timeline I: Walk away from the calendar

Making the decision of when to cut heavily dictates forage digestibility and quality – in addition to location and environment effects – should be enough to drive us to look outside the primitive calendar for guidance.


2015 4-State Nutrition Conference set for June 10-11 in Dubuque

Dairy nutritionists, industry professionals, veterinarians and producers will hear the latest research of issues concerning the dairy industry, including feed management and behavior at the 2015 4-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference, June 10 and 11.


Cover crops are viable option for livestock supplemental feed

Producers who want to use the cover crops they planted last fall as supplemental feed for their livestock may want to may want to harvest these crops quickly before the plants get too mature and the feed quality declines, says a forage expert from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.


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