Advantages to Feeding High Forage Diets

Researchers at Cornell University and the Miner Institute have evaluated high forage diets for lactating cows.   These researchers have demonstrated that cows can produce over 100 lbs. of milk per day on diets that are 60% forage or higher. There are many advantages of feeding high forage diets, including: Improved milk components. Improved income over feed cost. Less metabolic disorders and acidosis. Less foot problems. Increased cow longevity. Less purchased grain. Lower vet costs. Improved whole nutrient balance:  less imported nutrients (P). The key to making high forage diets work is high quality forages.    In particular, forages need to be high in NDF digestibility and corn silages need to be high in starch digestibility.    Proper harvest management and crop preservation are also important.    Forages that are harvested at the wrong stage of maturity, are too dry or too wet, or are loosely packed in the silo, will not be high enough in digestibility to support high levels of milk production. For over 25 years ANC has been helping dairy producers make the best use of forages so they can feed high levels of forage without sacrificing milk production.   Some of the keys to our success include working with our customers to help them harvest high quality forages, manage forage inventories, and fine tune cow management. ANC Consultants are trained to evaluate all of the important factors on your farm to create a customized ration that will meet your needs.    If you are not working with ANC, then why not start today? *If you would like the reference list for this article please contact ANC.  ...

5 Factors that Affect Water Quality on Your Farm

It’s pretty hard to argue that water is the most important essential nutrient supplied to any living thing.  Too often, dairy producers and their consultants have an insufficient understanding of water nutrition for dairy cattle. Many farmers know to monitor water intake for dairy cows, but what about water quality? Factors that may affect water intake and animal performance can include total dissolved solids, sulfur, sulfate, iron, manganese, and nitrate. High concentrations of these elements may be a reason that your cattle’s water intake levels are not where you’d like them to be. Below is a brief overview of a few elements that you should be testing for in your water and why. Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) – TDS is a general term defining all inorganic matter dissolved in water.  High TDS can be a pre-indicator of poor quality water. Sulfur and Sulfate – Sulfur presented as hydrogen sulfide emits a rotten egg smell and is believed to affect water intake. High-sulfate drinking water compromises performance of fresh dairy cows by causing reduced feed intake and milk yield, and an increased incidence of retained placentas and displaced abdomens. A rule of thumb in assessing water quality is to check whether or not the sulfate plus chloride concentrations exceed 1000 ppm.  If so, careful evaluation and testing of your water is recommended. Iron – Iron concentrations in drinking water of greater than 0.3 ppm are considered a concern for dairy cattle health and performance. One concern with high iron in drinking water is that it may reduce the palatability of the water and therefore, the amount and rate of water...

Pre-fresh mineral management – Focus on healthy calves

Dairy cows in the dry period are offered mineral and vitamin mixes in order to prevent issues associated with deficiency in both the cow and the calf. This blog post will focus on only the calf-related issues associated with mineral and vitamin management. Maternal deficiency of certain trace minerals and vitamins in late pregnancy can compromise the immune system of the calf. This may increase susceptibility to scours, pneumonia, navel problems, joint problems, etc.  It is generally advised to feed dry cow mineral and vitamin mixes for approximately six weeks pre-calving in order to combat any deficiencies in the total dietary intake. Consider these factors when managing cows in the dry period: Dystocia, or calving difficulty is often associated with over-conditioned cows.  Dystocia affects calf health and survival.  Research showed that calf mortality was 57% when calves were born from calvings classified as ‘severe’.  Calves born from cows with dystocia also had poorer rates of bodyweight gain. Management to avoid dystocia is critical to calf performance. Low dietary iodine intake during pregnancy has been associated with an increased incidence of small and weak calves, increased thyroid problems, decreased resistance to hypothermia, decreased survival and low immunity.  Cows recycle iodine poorly, which means that it is not stored in the body and so must be supplied in the diet. Selenium is one of the minerals which crosses the placenta from the cow to the calf and so selenium supplementation of pregnant cows has been shown to increase the selenium reserves in newborn calves. Vitamin E, in contrast to selenium, has a low rate of transfer across the placenta from the...

Colored Herds Exceed 18,000 lbs. of Milk

These dairy producers have exceeded 18,000 pounds of milk herd average while feeding the ANC dairy program. Gary Dotterer                                         23,751                        Brown Swiss Martin & Missy Moyer                        21,622                         Brown Swiss Duane & Mary Nelson                          21,194                         Ayrshire Jeremy & Becky Daubert                    21,075                         Brown Swiss Breunig and Reible                               20,282                         Jersey Circle Hawk Farm                                  20,042                         Jersey Sandy Knoll Guernseys                      19,150                         Guernsey Don Koontz                                              19,133                         Jersey Don Sywassink                                        19,127                         Guernsey Louis & Debbie Voegeli                        19,119                         Brown Swiss James & Tresa Schlappi                      19,074                         Brown Swiss Wesly Clark                                              ...

Holstein Herds Exceed 25,000 lbs. of Milk

These dairy producers’ herd averages have exceeded 25,000 lbs. while feeding the ANC dairy program since 2010. They are listed by the month that they surpassed the 25,000 mark. Congratulations to these fine managers! Producers Over 25,000 lbs. Tony & Matt Berktold                       October 2013 Cleason Nolt                                         October 2013 Michael Martin                                   September 2013 Ray Mae Holsteins                             August 2013 Brian & Monica Enyart                     July 2013 Marquis Farms                                    May 2013 Carl & Marie Newswanger               May 2013 Haiti Hollow Dairy                             April 2013 Brickhouse Holsteins                         Jan 2013 Dennis and Juanita Strite                 Jan 2013 Ray Manning and Sons                     Nov 2012 David and Betty Nolt                         Jun 2012 Daniel and Amy Hershberger        May 2012 Tulpa Canal Farm LLC                      Feb 2012 Michael Deutmeyer                           Sept 2012 David, Janice and Nathan Evers     Nov 2011 Curtis and Janice Weaver                 Oct 2011 Amos Ray and Sarah Leid                 Mar 2011 Dodger Acres                                       Feb 2011 Gary Dotterer                                      Jan 2011 Dale and Elaine Neumann               Jan 2011 Mic-Ali Farms                                     Jan...