The first article in a six-part series on emerging dairy cattle nutrition topics has been posted at DAIReXNet. The article, written by Donna Amaral-Phillips with the University of Kentucky, discusses these five priorities for fall/winter feeding programs:

  1. Develop a plan for using homegrown forages and determine whether you need to purchase other forages. To accomplish this, make sure you do the following: Sample all forages and submit representative samples to a forage-testing laboratory. Take an inventory of each forage and commodity in storage.
  2. Balance rations for all groups of cattle on the dairy operation using the inventory and forage analyses. Dairy cattle need nutrients, not ingredients, to support body maintenance, milk production, and growth.
  3. Review feeding practices with the person feeding the dairy’s lactating cows, heifers and dry cows.
  4. Work closely with your nutritionist and other consultants to develop and modify the feeding and overall management program throughout the feeding season. 
  5. Start making plans for the next cropping season. Now is the time to evaluate whether to make changes to your cropping system or forage-purchasing plans for next year.

    Learn more here.