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 long time ago. Today, even the TMR that is left in the bunk after 12 hours looks just like the fresh TMR.”
Since the Showalters made changes, the improvement in milk fat has resulted in an improvement in the farms monthly milk income of over $3,000! The improvement in milk yield could result in an additional $1,500 and $2,000 of monthly income. The reduction in sorting should also result in long-term benefits from improved cow health.
Addison Bowman has been an Independent Nutrition Consultant for ANC since 2010. Addison consults because he wants to help dairy producers, and aims to work with farmers to improve their operations, increase profitability, and improve farm management techniques to make farming more enjoyable for them.
“Addison’s dedication to his customers and desire to help farmers improve make him a great asset to any operation he is a part of,” explained ANC Director of Technical Services Scott Bascom. Thinking about the whole operation, in addition to the feed, or “Going Beyond Nutrition,” is what helps Addison achieve tremendous results like he saw on the Showalter farm.
For more information about working with Addison, or consultants like Addison, contact us!