6 Key Advantages to Feeding High Forage Diets

The majority of feedstuffs consumed by cattle have little nutritional value to humans. In contrast, ruminants have the ability to metabolize high fiber feeds. Cattle can convert these feeds into meat and milk that are rich in nutrients and that humans can digest. In particular, cattle consume forages that contain fibrous carbohydrates requiring a complex process for digestion. Every mouthful of feed consumed by a cow goes through the rumen to begin the process of digestion. The rumen is an intricate fermentation chamber containing a vast population of bacteria, fungi and protozoa. These microbes convert fiber into more digestible sources of protein and energy. Microbial fermentation can supply up to 90 percent of the energy and 50 to 90 percent of the protein needs of a cow. While the intricate biochemistry of the rumen is intriguing, the goal of a dairy nutritionist is to take full advantage of the cow’s ability to digest forage and convert it to milk. There are many advantages of feeding high forage diets, including: 1. Reduced risk of metabolic disorders and acidosis. As the level of forage in the diet increases, cows spend more time chewing their cud. Chewing results in the production of saliva, which is rich in bicarbonate. Bicarbonate is important because it serves as a buffer in the rumen and reduces the fluctuation in rumen pH between meals. When rumen pH falls below 6.0, fiber digestion is compromised. 2. Improved milk components. Reducing fluctuations in rumen pH can also increase production of acetic acid and microbial protein. The mammary gland utilizes acetic acid to generate milk fat and the amino acids...

Newborn Calves can be Stubborn

[May not be able to view infographic in all browsers] Newborn calves can be stubborn | Create Infographics The more vigorous calves consumed more colostrum per minute of sucking time than the less vigorous calves. A common recommendation is to feed newborn calves four quarts of colostrum. In this study, 59% of newborn calves would not suck this much colostrum from a bottle. Therefore, the use of a tube feeder may be required to obtain the desired volume of colostrum into the calf. Another option is to use a more highly concentrated colostrum replacement, such as Calf Armor-150 that can deliver 150 grams of IgG in about 2-1/2 quarts of liquid. In this study, about 66% of the calves would have consumed more than 2-1/2 quarts of liquid. To learn more about Calf Armor-150 and how ANC can help you with your newborn calves, contact us here today....

Spotlight on Feed Analytical Services Part 2: CVAS

One of the keys to effective ration formulation is the accurate analysis of available feed ingredients, particularly forages.  At ANC we receive several hundred feed analysis reports every month.  Our Ration Analysts consider more than 25 different nutrients when formulating a ration.  This information is essential to formulating balanced rations for our customers that will optimize both the health and performance of their cows.  For this reason the forage testing labs are vital partners we trust to provide accurate feed analysis to our Ration Department. We wanted to give you an inside look into those labs to help you understand a little more about the business and why it is an important behind-the-scenes component to your complete nutrition program.  We interviewed Cliff Ocker (CO) from Cumberland Valley Analytical Services (CVAS) to learn a little bit more about the company and how they help dairy and livestock producers achieve their goals. ANC: Please outline your services. CO: CVAS is the largest chemistry-based feed and forage lab in North America and started as a solely chemistry lab meant to provide laboratory services for the Cumberland Valley, a valley spanning from about Harrisburg, PA into Virginia. ANC: What is your passion and/or motivation for being in this business? CO: CVAS is passionate about the industry that it serves and its 90 employees, many of whom have an agricultural background.  Each sample result is reviewed by a qualified person before being sent out to the nutritionist.  Having a few folks ‘in house’ who have feed sales experience helps to answer client questions, concerns and recommendations. ANC: What are the strengths of your business...
Going Beyond: Consultant Scores a Home Run with ANC

Going Beyond: Consultant Scores a Home Run with ANC

In February of 2002, Addison Bowman was signed by the Boston Red Sox Organization into the minor league system after a successful history of playing collegiate baseball. In college, Addison was a short-stop and third-baseman and then switched to a catcher and outfield player once he made it into professional baseball. A graduate of Virginia Tech in Agricultural Economics and today an ANC Independent Consultant, Addison relates many of his accomplishments to the value of teamwork. “It is a team game, but you want to do your part to make the team successful,” he says of his baseball experiences. Addison says it is no different on-farm and in nutritional consulting. Addison grew up on a poultry and beef cattle farm in Virginia. Beef cows were one of Addison’s biggest interests, and he has had some of the most fun improving his beef herd throughout the years. Agriculture was a large part of Addison’s life growing up, as was playing baseball. In 2003, Addison was released from the Boston Red Sox Organization and returned to his home poultry farm, as he did not know what he wanted to do after his career in baseball. Around that time, farmers around the area were forming a cooperative called the Virginia Poultry Growers Cooperative, providing a good opportunity for Addison to join his father in the poultry business. Since his return, Addison has worked full-time at the poultry farm and also owns 50 beef cows, mostly Angus. In addition, Addison runs 100 acres of cash crops and manages his independent nutritional consulting business with Agri-Nutrition Consulting LLC (ANC). Addison started consulting with ANC after...

Spotlight on Feed Analytical Services Part 1: Rock River Labs

One of the keys to effective ration formulation is the accurate analysis of available feed ingredients, particularly forages.   At ANC we receive several hundred feed analysis reports every month.  Our Ration Analysts consider over 25 different nutrients when formulating a ration.   This information is essential to formulating balanced rations for our customers that will optimize both the health and performance of their cows.  For this reason the forage testing labs are vital partners we trust to provide accurate feed analysis to our Ration Department. We wanted to give you an inside look into those labs to help you understand a little more about the business and why it is an important behind-the-scenes component to your complete nutrition program.   We interviewed Zachery Meyer (ZM) from Rock River Laboratory to learn a little bit more about the company and how they help dairy and livestock producers achieve their goals. ANC: Please outline your services. ZM: Rock River Laboratory brings innovation, technical leadership, and analytical services to the agricultural industry. We specialize in forage, soil, plant, water, manure, and advanced digestion analytics. ANC: What is your passion and/or motivation for being in this business? ZM: I believe Rock River Laboratory’s passion has always been to offer the most cutting-edge analysis to the industry as a whole and do so with unmatched service. We’ve aimed to carry that standard for almost 40 years through the guidance of our founder, Donald Meyer. That’s particularly motivating for me on a personal level because Donald is my Dad and Rock River has always been a family company. I think from a global perspective, the stability of being involved...