The transition period, the weeks leading up to and following calving, are the most stressful in a dairy cow’s life. One of the major determinants of whether a cow transitions successfully is her ability to maintain adequate blood calcium status during this time. It is all too apparent when a cow exhibits clinical hypocalcemia (milk fever) and is actually down. The silent profit drain is the effect on those cows that experience subclinical hypocalcemia with blood calcium levels dropping below the industry-accepted threshold of 8.5 mg/dL. These cows are at higher risk for developing metabolic and infectious disease after calving. Fortunately, the physiology of fresh-cow calcium status is becoming better-understood all the time and it can be effectively managed.
On Thursday, September 22nd, dairy nutritionists visited Phoenix Feeds & Nutrition for a tour and barbecue. Teaming up with the ZinPro Corporation, Phoenix Feeds brought valuable insight to their British nutritionists.
Recent improvements in silage management strategies and available corn hybrid genetics have prompted dairy producers to grow more acres of corn and include higher levels of corn silage in dairy rations. There has also been a growing awareness in the importance of kernel processing when producing a high quality corn silage. The goals of processing corn silage are to create optimal particle size for rumen function, favorable grain particle form for effective use, and to improve fiber digestibility. One processing technique, shredlage, is gaining interest from dairy producers looking to increase the amount of corn silage in their dairy rations. This article describes the shredlage technology, examines current research using shredlage in dairy rations, and outlines the potential value of implementing the processing technique.
Williston, VT – Phoenix Feeds & Nutrition Inc. (PFN) took home an Award of Distinction for the Fall issue of Perspectives: Dairy Farming in the Northeast magazine from this year’s Communicator Awards. This is the second award in two years that team PFN has received for marketing productions.
Perspectives: Dairy Farming in the Northeast is a trade magazine produced for PFN and is in its 9th issue. Perspectives publishes stories that cover agricultural topics and highlight the farmers that drive the industry. The fall issue featured articles such as “Women of Cabot” by Jenni Flood of Flood Brothers Farm and “Leadership in Food Safety” by Louise H. Calderwood of the Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance, touching upon a diverse range of topics that loyal readers have come to expect from the magazine.
From the Communicator Awards website – The Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program recognizing big ideas in marketing and communications. Founded two decades ago, The Communicator Awards receives over 6,000 entries from companies and agencies of all sizes, making it one of the largest awards of its kind in the world. The Award of Distinction is presented for projects that exceed industry standards in quality and achievement.
We’re pleased to announce the release of the Summer 2016 issue of Perspectives Magazine, brought to you by Phoenix Feeds & Nutrition.
The impact of summer heat stress on lactating cows is well known. However, less is known about the impact on dry cows. Figure 1 shows monthly average milk production in Florida during the years 2007 to 2010 (bar graphs) and the typical average ambient temperature in Okeechobee, Florida (dashed line). As expected, milk production begins dropping in the spring as ambient temperature rises. However, ambient temperature peaks by July–August but milk production does not begin to rebound until October–November. This delay in production recovery after heat stress is at least partially due to the poor performance of fresh cows in September and October that were dry during the high temperature period of July– August.
Calf rearing on a dairy farm is one of the most important daily tasks on the farm. Customarily, calves tend to be reared individually in pens and hutches or small calf houses. This system has been historically successful for a couple of different reasons. The first is that it provides time for individual observations for each calf, as well as minimizing the risk of cross contamination between calves, especially in cases when you have an ill calf. It is, however, one of the most labor intensive tasks on the farm.
There are two more recent trends in calf rearing that are now gaining steam. Depending on your personal preference, either may appeal to you. Both have shown positive results in the health and growth of calves, which should pay dividends down the road when these cows come into production. We took a look at both methods and break them down for you here.
After the brutally cold, long winter we’ve all just experienced, I don’t think anyone is worried about a little warm weather this summer. Actually, with the rainy and chilly spring, I’m sure most folks are still thinking more about mud and flood season right now. However, this is the time to start thinking about heat stress in your herd and heat abatement techniques that will keep your cows healthy and productive through the hot months ahead. In just a few short months, the full force of summer’s heat and humidity will be upon us, and you’re going to want to be ready.
Amino acid balance in the lactating dairy cow ration is essential for optimal nutrient metabolism, strong immunity, and milk synthesis. When the ratios of amino acids in the diet most accurately reflect the cow’s needs, she becomes most efficient at metabolizing all dietary energy sources, therefore increasing efficiency at producing milk and components. This allows for remaining energy to be shuttled to greater production, immunity, and other metabolic processes.
Latest posts by Sally Flis PhD (see all)
- When Should You Rotate an Alfalfa or Alfalfa Grass Mix? - May 20, 2016
Hopefully the snow is gone from your fields, but even with the best-laid plans last fall, alfalfa and alfalfa grass mix fields should be evaluated as they green up. Winter conditions can have large impacts on the amount of alfalfa present in the field for the following year. Loss of alfalfa in a stand will result in weeds filling in the space and a loss in yield and quality of the forage harvested.