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Read advice and tips on dairy nutrition.


Iodine: Are your forgetting a key trace mineral?

Iodine plays a key role in dairy cattle energy metabolism and immunity, impacting overall performance. It’s also important to recognize that iodine has potential to be either under or over fortified in diets.


Choosing alternative feedstuffs in a fickle marketplace

Despite lower feed costs in recent months, declining farm-gate prices for milk will have dairy farm managers sharpening their feed-planning pencils in search of cost-effective rations for 2015. Well-balanced rations are critical to the health and well-being of the cow and the dairy enterprise.

Quality Silage

Paper or plastic?

What type of sample bag should be used for silage to be analyzed for yeasts and molds — paper or plastic?
Some forage testing laboratories recommend submitting these samples in paper bags. However, no research supports this recommendation. It may be labs might be recommending paper bags because that’s what they read somewhere or “because we’ve always done it that way.”


Close-up dry cows sort, too

We put a lot of focus on feed sorting issues with lactating cows for very good reason. However, we don’t often look at sorting in close-up dry cow diets.


Estimate and manage feed levels

One of the biggest challenges on a dairy operation is estimating how much feed you have on hand and how long it will last. However, a few simple actions can make estimating and planning easier.


Cornell Nutrition Conference Transition Cow Mini-Symposium presentations available

More than 200 dairy nutritionists and producers attended a transition cow mini-symposium prior to the Cornell Nutrition Conference. The agenda, sponsored by Balchem Animal Nutrition and Health, included in-depth discussions from four professors and industry specialists sharing their research and expertise in transition cow management.


Wisconsin 2015 Crop Budget COP Calculator available online

The input costs for growing alfalfa, corn, soybeans, and wheat in Wisconsin are predicted to be mixed in 2015. Crop prices are forecasted to be lower. Fertilizer prices are mixed. Pesticide prices are expected to be slightly higher. Fuel prices should be lower. Seed prices are expected to be stable to lower, according to Ken Barnett, University of Wisconsin-Extension educator emeritus.

“When deciding how much of an input to apply, producers can maximize their investment in that input by considering its marginal rate of return,” said Barnett.


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