Nutritionist E-Network

Effect of monensin in lactating dairy cow diets

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of monensin (M) supplementation on lactation performance of dairy cows fed diets of either reduced (RS) or normal (NS) starch concentrations as total mixed rations. FULL STORY »

Milk quality from cows fed DDGS

The results of this study indicate that feeding of DDGS to lactating dairy cows, under controlled conditions, does not have negative effects on milk oxidative stability or flavor. However, feeding 25% DDGS did negatively impact milk production and changed milk fatty acid profile. FULL STORY »

Is there a role for IR on the farm?

In the first two parts of this series, Kyle Tasom, Business Development Manager with Dairyland Laboratorie Inc. discussed the effects of moisture, particle size and instrument type on the accuracy of near infrared (NIR) predictions. In the third and final part of this series, he looks at where it may or may not make sense to utilize on-farm NIR. FULL STORY »

Brainstorming is divergent thinking!

If you're looking to expand your practice, one component may mean staff brainstorming. The goal of brainstorming is to generate many different ideas over a short period of time without evaluation, criticism or commentary, according to Yvonne (Bonnie) Wichtner-Zoia, Michigan State University Extension. Strategic Futuring, a vision-centered strategic planning workbook developed by a team of facilitators at Michigan State University Extension, suggest brainstorming is a useful divergent or ‘idea-expansion’ tool. FULL STORY »

Center for Dairy Excellence ‘case study’ files

As a part of the Animal Welfare and Herd Health Standard Operating Procedures grant provided by the Pennsylvania Soybean Board, Pensylvania’s Center for Dairy Excellence utilized farm press and other media avenues to encourage Pennsylvania dairy farmers to apply for a $1,000 grant that would help them to address a dairy cow care area for improvement on their farm. One specific case study identified a herd with continued issues with fresh cows and transition cow health at the time of calving. The goal: Improve the overall health and longevity of this herd demographic and reduce the incidence of metabolic disease. FULL STORY »

Feed price projections rise slightly

USDA’s World Ag Supply & Demand Estimates report said U.S. feed grain ending stocks for 2013/14 are expected lower. U.S. corn ending stocks are projected 150 million bushels lower, due to an increase in exports. Expected U.S. corn use for ethanol was unchanged at 5 billion bushels in 2013-14, up from 4.65 billion bushels in 2012-13. FULL STORY »

What's an RCAU, and what does it have to do with forage supplies?

The monthly USDA Feed Outlook report not only provides estimates of available feed supplies, but frequently estimates U.S. roughage-consuming animal units (RCAU). It might be more than you needed to know, but USDA calculates RCAUs for all livestock that might consume roughages, assigning different factors for each species. FULL STORY »

Fresh milk fat to protein ratio used to identify ketosis

Subclinical ketosis affects 26 to 55 percent of dairy cows and is conservatively estimated to cost dairy producers $78 per case. FULL STORY »

Is there a role for NIR on the farm?

In the first part of this series we discussed the basics of how NIR works, how drying and grinding affect the spectral properties of the sample, and what spectral ranges are covered by various NIR instruments that are commercially available. In Part 2, we will look at how these factors affect the accuracy of NIR measurements, and then finish up with Part 3 which will propose some possible use cases for NIR on the farm. FULL STORY »

2013-14 corn, soybean price forecasts narrowed

USDA’s World Ag Supply & Demand Estimates report issued season-average price forecasts for the 2013-14 marketing year. The prices are those paid to the crop producer at the farm level. All are well below the average for 2012-13. FULL STORY »

Butterfat depression

The problem of milk fat depression can have multiple causes, and because it can take 3-5 weeks to see the impact of a ration change, it can be a time-consuming process to fix. I was called to a 700-cow Pennsylvania dairy, averaging 85 pounds of milk. The herd had a strong reproduction program and, in general, herd health was good. FULL STORY »

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