Case Study: A Nutritionist’s Strategy for Solving a Starch Discrepancy in the Delivered TMR

Written by: Kevin Buttles, MAT. PAS Sometimes it is easy to get lulled to sleep when there is not much going on at a client’s farm – forages are the same, no fresh cow problems, no real health problems, and components are right on target.  A closer look at the farm’s historical data and a frank discussion regarding goals and expectations with the herd owner revealed a recent slump, or at least a stall, in pounds of milk produced.  My first step was to take a TMR sample for analysis and to compare the results to the formulated diet.  We have all done that.  Many of the nutrients were right on, but when the results showed four whole percentage points less in starch (22.5% instead of 26.5%), I knew I had to attack this problem from multiple angles right away.  I implemented the following investigative strategies during the next six weeks to assess big picture items and to scrutinize the smallest of details. First I retested on-farm forages and HMSC and tested the purchased corn and starch containing commodities. Dry matters needed to be corrected. When I updated the diets, I juggled around different corn sources to take advantage of different starch fermentation rates. I closely evaluated RD starch, kd rates, CHO B3 pdNDF, and uNDF in the CNCPS model.  All seemed to be good. Then I utilized the oven-dried, 7hr lab procedure on the starch containing feeds to take advantage of one of the newer starch digestibility lab procedures to improve accuracy of reporting starch kd rates.  I felt confident that I was supplying sound nutrient data for...

ANC Product Spotlight: Cow Refresher

We are all aware of the impact that milk fever and ketosis has on our bottom line, especially with milk prices being lower as we get further into 2016. We understand the impact this has on our producers and we have engineered Cow Refresher to aid in battling these diseases. An average case of clinical ketosis or milk fever has been known to cost a producer anywhere from $200-$500 and with milk prices around $13/cwt, it is clear that there may be an opportunity to lower our risk. (Fresh Cow Diseases can Kill Your Checkbook). Cow Refresher is a powder that is designed to be mixed into 5-10 gallons of warm water, and be offered to the cow just after freshening. When used as directed, one pail of Cow Refresher can treat up to 13 cows. Cow Refresher supplies calcium, glucose and electrolytes which all aid in reducing the risk of a metabolic disease. This product administers a minimum of 7.50% calcium to aid in reducing the incidence of milk fever. Cow Refresher is easier and sometimes safer to administer than a calcium bolus when used as directed. Cow Refresher also contains quickly digestible sugars such as dextrose and sucrose to aid in restoring a positive energy balance and assists in preventing ketosis. Electrolytes are also supplied to aid in rehydrating the cow after freshening. Customers who use it enjoy the convenience of the product and its ability to aid in preventing metabolic problems on farm. “Since we’ve used Cow Refresher, the cows haven’t skipped a beat with eating.  Starting the pre-fresh on ANC was the best thing we’ve ever...

ANC helps Rosebud Dairy bloom to higher production yields

Ten years ago Jeff and Michelle Mincheski and their children Josh and Jenna, all thought their farm; Rosebud Dairy in Kewaunee, WI would always have herd complications. They suffered from numerous cases of ketosis, acidosis, and displaced abomasum. In addiction, the cows were averaging about 65 lbs. of milk per cow and had a 3.5% butterfat test. The Mincheski family did not trust many nutrition companies because “they were more focused on money and selling products.” Not knowing there was hope, one day Josh Mincheski met Kelly Ducat, Agri-Nutrition Consulting LLC (ANC) consultant after purchasing some beef cattle from him.  They discussed the challenges that Josh was experiencing on his farm. Kelly offered to take a look at what was going on. He and ANC Regional Manager, Tim Schamberger evaluated the farms ‘shortest staves.’ Shortest staves are the areas on the farm that are falling behind, which impacts the whole dairy program. Their first concern was the herd health and condition of the fresh cows. Kelly and Tim found that Josh’s herd could reduce ketosis and acidosis to less than 5% by simplifying the rations. They cut the ingredient list by more than half, which saved Josh several thousands of dollars each month. After a few months went by, herd health and milk production slowly improved. “ANC did not just push products to fix all the problems. Their goal was to educate us about improving and maintaining a healthy herd,” explained Josh. “They really look at what the farmer has to utilize on hand.” Josh was also impressed with the dedicated service of the consultants, and how they kept...

Going Beyond for Dairy Story: Equipment Investment Recommendation Pays Off

When Addison Bowman, ANC Independent Consultant from Dayton, VA, started working with Galen and Conrad Showalter of Dayton, Virginia, their cows were milking in the 60 pound range.  Through Addison’s guidance, they were able to increase milk production to 80 pounds per cow. However, they struggled to achieve the ideal 3.5 percent fat test during the warmer months of the year. The Showalter’s typical milk cow ration contains between 3 and 6 pounds of dry hay per cow per day depending on the time of year and availability of hay.  The Showalter’s use a horizontal TMR mixer that is not designed to mix long hay into the TMR.  Addison noticed how the lack of hay processing resulted in the cows sorting the TMR, and that a few hours after the TMR was delivered, the feed in the bunk was long and stringy and didn’t look much like the desired TMR that was originally delivered. Because Addison knew the Showalters were not chopping their hay before mixing it into the TMR, he recommended they switch to a different type of TMR mixer, or buy a hay chopper to process the hay before mixing into the current TMR mixer. Although the Showalters were originally reluctant to spend money on new equipment, they ended up listening to Addison’s recommendation and purchased a hay chopper that allows them to process their hay before mixing it into the TMR. After incorporating processed hay into the TMR, the Showalters were able to boost their fat test to 3.5 percent in the middle of the summer. Conrad Showalter told Addison, “We should have done this a...

Go Beyond Forum: ANC puts Innovation into Action

Open any dairy magazine or attend any dairy seminar or conference and you are likely to see or hear the words innovative, innovation or innovate at least 100 times.  They are definitely the buzz words that will mark this part of the millennium.  At Agri-Nutrition Consulting (ANC) we live our mission of going beyond nutrition through innovative solutions.  Proudly we use the word innovative to express our resolve to improve, remodel, change and revolutionize how cutting edge science is applied in today’s dairy industry. In anticipation of the release of the 6.5 Biology by Cornell University, ANC found a need to connect the updated science, the leaders in amino acid nutrition, and the cutting-edge starch technologies with the innovators in the dairy nutrition industry.  Our goal was to cut through the hype and get to the heart of the matter. The first-ever Go Beyond Forum, held November 5, 2014, gave industry leaders and scientists the ability to talk directly to the most influential nutritionists. Nutritionists at the Forum were able to discuss and learn without the filters of advertising and marketing in order to get to the heart of the science, and learn about how to take full advantage of the tools and resources available to them. The forum included an introduction of the CNCPS 6.5 Biology by Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, and two panel discussions on Advances in Starch Nutrition and Amino Acid Nutrition. Panelists included Dr. Jack Garett, Dr. Patrick French, Dr. Tom Tylutki., Drew Johnson, Rick Bonander, Dr. Randy Shaver, Dr. John Goeser, and Courtney Heuer. Participants in the forum were encouraged to ask questions and share their thoughts...