Nutrition and management during the dry period are critical factors for the metabolic status and lactation performance of the dam, as well as the health of her calf.
The notion that protein nutrition of the dry cow influences lactation performance and health is widespread.
"Many studies have focused on the crude protein needs of dry cows but the results have been mixed, with several studies finding little response in milk yield, milk protein content, or milk protein yield," says Heather Dann in the February 2013 Miner Institute Farm Report. "Part of the inconsistency in results is because of the poor relationship between crude protein intake and metabolizable protein supply in dry cows."
Formulating diets for dry cows in regard to metabolizable protein and amino acids is an area of opportunity, Dann says.
Read more in Are your dry cows getting enough metabolizable protein? in the February 2013 William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute Farm Report.