ANC’s Top 13 of 2013

What a Year for ANC! Did you know the ANC blog is already one year old? Thank you for following and reading along as we shared our nutrition and management advice! In case you missed some of the most popular ANC posts of the year, we’ve compiled a list for you! Check them out!   Top 13 ANC Blog Articles from 2013:    5 Factors that Affect Water Quality on Your Farm – Jan. 18, 2013 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. Read more… Is Consulting for Me? – May 13, 2013 Pursuing a career as an Independent Dairy Consultant can be a richly rewarding experience, from both an earnings and a personal satisfaction perspective. If you haven’t considered Independent Dairy Consulting as a career, maybe it’s time to explore what this profession has to offer. Read more… Monitoring peNDF – Why It’s Important – Feb. 11, 2013 As a ration analyst, I have seen many rations come across my desk. When I investigate herds with milk fat depression, I focus my attention to physically effective Neutral Detergent Fiber (peNDF). Physically effective Neutral Detergent Fiber (peNDF) is also known as the term “scratch.” Read more… Tips for Late Harvesting of Forages – Jun. 14, 2013 Harvesting forages in a timely manner is critical to making highly digestible forage that will support high levels of milk production.   Sometimes cutting of forages is delayed  due to weather, breakdowns, or other unplanned events.   When cutting is delayed what...

5 Reasons Profit Minded Farmers Need to Take Advantage of Rumen Modeling

By Lynn Gilbert, Guest Contributor from AMTS We’re no longer feeding the same cows from 20 years ago. The cows we are feeding now are genetically more superior with the capacity to make much more milk than ever before. The Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (CNCPS) is an advanced system that models the biology of dairy cows. Modeling this evolution of the science behind a dairy cow is important because we have the ability to model things we can’t see. We can see if a cow has laminitis or if her body condition has changed, but we can’t see the cause by looking at her, and we certainly can’t see if her mineral requirements are being fulfilled, unless there are extreme deficiencies. By using the latest and greatest biology we can SAVE farmers money a few different ways, including: reduced feed costs, healthier cows, improved rumen health, better hoof health and improved reproductive efficiency. 1. Reduced Feed Costs: This is probably the most obvious. The CNCPS fixed a few errors in the well-known ‘gold standard’ of feeding recommendations for dairy cattle, 2001 Dairy National Research Council (NRC). These fixes reflected what the industry is seeing and what the cows are telling us. Cows really do recycle quite a bit of protein (more than we originally thought), so we really have been feeding too much protein for decades. Who cares? What’s the big deal about that? Worst case scenario, it comes out the back-end of the cow. The cow needs to get rid of overfed protein and that takes energy. So let’s get it straight. We’re feeding energy and...

Good Products are Never Good Enough

At ANC our focus is to Go Beyond Nutrition.  We understand that there are numerous small management details that must come together to help our customers achieve their goals.  Our focus is on providing a very high level of service and expertise. However, our commitment to Go Beyond Nutrition demands that we provide the highest quality products to our customers. In fact, we have very high criteria for the products to offer to our customers. We use a production evaluation and selection method called the 5-Rs performance criteria. The “5-Rs” are as follows: Response: To be part of our product line-up, a product must demonstrate that it will elicit a positive change in animal performance. Repeatability: The responses our products promise must be repeatable in a wide variety of settings and circumstances. Return: The products must offer a positive return on our customer’s investment in them. In other words, they must make money for the end user. Research: Our products are backed by unbiased university research. We demand proof that a product and the concepts behind the product will perform before it enters our product line-up. Reliability: We demand that our suppliers provide us with a product that will be consistent, so every time our customers use the product, they have the same experience. We use rigorous criteria when we evaluate the products in our product line-up. When we have the opportunity to improve one of our existing products, we seize that opportunity. For example, we recently introduced Calf Power Shield to replace a very good product that had been in our previous line-up because we had the opportunity...

Got Milk? Got Cotton?

Cotton is made into soft, comfortable t-shirts, oils for human consumption, but most importantly, whole cottonseed is used in dairy cattle rations all over the United States. Cottonseed is unique: The “fuzziness” of the whole cottonseed is cellulose, which is an effective source of fiber for dairy cattle. This unique feedstuff is a source of energy, protein and fiber in higher concentrations than most other feedstuffs. Whole cottonseed can increase milk output and boost butterfat, which is the reason why it is commonly fed to early lactation cows. It has been recognized as a cost-effective “triple-nutrient” because whole cottonseed has high protein (23%) and high energy in the form of fat (20%) and crude fiber (24%). The combination of high energy and fiber makes it a great product for cows in negative energy balance (early lactation cows). Moreover, whole cottonseed is a convenient feed source and does not need to be processed before feeding. Additional benefits: The high digestibility of cottonseed comes from its high energy level, which originates from the fat in the feedstuff. When the right amount of cottonseed is fed, it won’t interfere with forage digestion like starch from corn can. The fat also improves body condition, which leads to higher reproductive performance. Reproduction is one of the biggest reasons why cows are culled in a herd (read more about nutrition in relation to reproductive performance). Whole cottonseed is also widely available and quite easy to store. Storage: Cottonseed needs to be kept dry, so that it does not have problems with mycotoxins, just like most other feedstuffs. It can be stored in a commodities shed,...