Ration Management

Understanding starch digestibility in corn

Starch digestibility affects rumen health and milk production and directly impacts a dairy’s bottom line. Here are several practical approaches for increasing the starch digestibility of corn. FULL STORY »

Evaluate starch sources

Historically, corn grain has been the cheapest source of starch in the Midwest. However, in the era of high corn prices, other starch sources should be evaluated. FULL STORY »

What's your feed shrink?

How much harvested forage or purchased grains and commodities are wasted? A trailer load of corn grain costs in excess of $8,000, says Bob James, extension dairy scientist at Virginia Tech. Reducing shrink from 10 percent to 5 percent is worth over $400. FULL STORY »

Canola: A crop rotation option

Canola can be used in a crop rotation with peas and fed as silage for lactating dairy cattle in certain regions of the country. According to research reported in the December 2011 Washington State University Dairy Newsletter, the resulting combination was palatable and had an acceptable feeding value as indicated by its chemical composition and in vitro digestibility. FULL STORY »

Managing TMR variability

A recent DAIReXNET webinar focuses on managing TMR variability through the use of TMR audits. FULL STORY »

Measuring dry matter in ensiled forages

In a recent study conducted on three California dairies, researchers observed that most of the variation between the ration fed and the ration formulated was due to unaccounted changes in the ingredients’ dry matter. FULL STORY »

Are you tracking your feed inventory?

One step to aid in feed cost management is tracking feed inventories. This simple step is a key component to better feed management decisions. FULL STORY »

Sugar analyses of fresh forage can be greatly affected by lab drying method

Sugar analyses of fresh forage can be greatly affected by how you handle the sample and how the lab dries the sample, says Kurt Cotanch, William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute forage lab director. There’s growing interest in both ruminant and equine nutrition to have analyses of both total and individual sugars, such as glucose, sucrose and fructose, he says. FULL STORY »

Try these tips for high-quality, high-yielding silage

With today's high feed costs, silage management can have a significant impact on your bottom line. That's why you must pay attention to hybrid selection, field conditions and harvest timing/management to help make the most of your silage crops. FULL STORY »

Determine the value of improved silage management

Of course, silage management is important. But it’s not always easy to quantify just how important. To illustrate the effects of silage management on your profitability, check out this spreadsheet, developed by Brian Holmes, University of Wisconsin ag engineer. FULL STORY »

New tool to calculate hay prices

With the large increase in corn prices lately, some hay producers are asking what minimum hay price they need to match varying corn prices. This Excel spreadsheet from the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Profitability will help answer this question. FULL STORY »

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