There is good evidence that close-up and fresh-pen rations should supply 2,000 IU's of vitamin E per day. Jesse Goff, veterinarian and research professor at Iowa State University, told an audience at the 2009 Dairy Production Medicine Seminar in Tulare, Calif., last week. This is well in excess of 2000 NRC guidelines.

Research conducted by Bill Weiss at Ohio State University showed an increased level of vitamin E during this period reduced mastitis incidence. Three percent of cows fed 4,000 IU's during the dry period and 2,000 IU's during early lactation developed mastitis, compared to 17 percent of cows fed the NRC-recommended 1,000 IU's during the dry period and 500 IU's during lactation.