Archive for the ‘Nutrition Update’ Category

Purina Animal Nutrition Center Helps Animals Reach Their Full Potential

November 24, 2014 — The Purina Animal Nutrition Center sits in the rolling hills of Gray Summit, MO. Purina’s Stu Rymph joined DairyLine’s Bill Baker to give listeners and overview of the operation and why it should be on your bucket list for places to visit.



Cold Weather Challenges

November 21, 2014 — This week’s Feed Facts segment on DairyLine Radio looks at cold weather challenges for young calves. Dr. Mike Hutjens, extension dairy specialist at the University of Illinois has some great insight in taking care of your animals, especially the young ones, during these cold winter months.


Nutrition Practices Help Minimize the Impact of Stress

November 18, 2014 — It’s important that dairy cattle have a healthy immune system to protect themselves from year round sources of stress. Joining us on today’s DairyLine is Dr. Troy Wistuba, dairy technology manager with Prince Agri-Products, to discuss what role nutrition can play in promoting health and productivity.


New Forage Test: TTNDFD

November 14, 2014 – TTNDFD stands for Total Track Neutral Detergent Fiber Digestibility. University of Illinois’ Milk Hutjens explains in this week’s Feed Facts radio segment heard on DairyLine Radio and sponsored by Cotton, Inc.


Planning for Profitability

November 10, 2014 —  Our guest on DairyLine Radio today is Dr. David Kirk, Dairy Technology Manager for Prince Agri Products. Dave, as this year’s harvest wraps up and we approach the end of the season, what steps can dairy producers take to plan for a profitable 2015?

David Kirk: At this point, we’re getting past some of the key challenges that can negatively impact dairy cow health and production during the year – such as summer heat stress and sudden ration changes.

Right now, producers can begin focusing on other key issues – for example, as they complete their new forage analysis, their nutrition consultant can dial in the dry, transition and lactating cow rations to optimize production while maintaining health status.

Current dairy modeling software allows nutritionists to develop precise diets that take full advantage of all available forage and feed products. Quality issues can also be assessed during this time allowing for better overall decisions on final diet composition.

With good planning, changes made now will provide positive benefits to the herd and to the bottom line for months to come. This is particularly important as we approach 2015 with an expectation of lower milk prices.

DairyLine: From a nutritional standpoint, what strategy do you recommend?

David Kirk: When milk prices start to decline, it’s generally a good idea to examine the feed programs to see if there are opportunities to lower cost without compromising nutrition and production. In a down milk price environment, there may be a temptation to cut corners to help preserve profits.

But when it comes to nutrition management, taking shortcuts is not always in a producer’s best interests, given the direct well-documented link between good nutrition and dairy cow health and production. Over the long-term, maintaining a proper feeding strategy is critical in optimizing an overall plan to optimize profit.  A proper feeding strategy may include:

  • A comprehensive plan to grow or purchase the correct types and amounts of forages, grains, and other crops, as well as commodities depending on land resources, or sources available for purchase.
  • It should also include frequent communication and planning between the dairy producer and his nutrition consultant to optimize the diets for productivity, health, and profit.
  • Also, producers should pay close attention to the day-to-day details to accurately mix and deliver all rations to all cows.

Any savings from short-term cutbacks may be offset by reduced milk production and, in many cases, we see issues with reduced reproductive efficiency and other herd health related issues as well. The impact from these types of decisions may cause problems that ultimately cost more to solve than the initial savings provided. 

DairyLine: For our listeners who may not be familiar with Prince’s nutritional specialty product, OmniGen-AF, what role does it play in supporting herd health and productivity? 

David Kirk: Dairy cows face many sources of stress year-round, both expected and unexpected, that can weaken their immune system, leaving them more susceptible to health issues. OmniGen-AF is recommended to be fed to all dry, pre-fresh and lactating cows to help support normal immune function.

Research has demonstrated that continual use of this product may help result in fewer health events, a lower somatic cell count and fewer cases of profit-robbing diseases and infections, such as mastitis and metritis. This, in turn, may lead to higher milk production and fewer unplanned culls. 

DairyLine: We’ve been speaking with Dr. David Kirk, Dairy Technology Manager with Prince Agri Products. Thanks, Dave.

David Kirk: Thank you.



New Choices on the Alfalfa Scene

November 7, 2014 — There are new choices on the alfalfa scene that could make for some good competition with other grass and corn silages. Dr. Mike Hutjens from the University of Illinois joins us to discuss on this week’s Feed Facts segment on DairyLine Radio.


Corn Silage After Harvest

October 31, 2014 — Corn silage after harvest is our “Feed Facts” topic this with Dr. Mike Hutjens, extension dairy specialist at the University of Illinois. He provides some tips on storing that crop.


Consider Snaplage as an Alternative Feed Source

October 24, 2014 — Today’s Feed Facts looks at Snaplage as an alternative feed source for dairy producers. Dr. Mike Hutjens tells us more about how new technology is making this type of feed more popular.


Learning the Forage Alphabet

October 17, 2014 — Forages are the key to dairy rations because they are the backbone of the program. Forages dictate a lot of the nutrient intake and quality of the ration. Also it is usually locally produced on the farm as it’s very challenging to transport the wet silages. This week we discuss the “Forage Alphabet” with Dr. Mike Hutjens, extension dairy specialist at the University of Illinois.

Benefits of Shortening the Dry Period

October 13, 2104 — Joining us on DairyLine today is Ken Zanzalari, Ph.D., who serves as Animate Product Manager for Prince Agri Products, here to discuss a recent trend on dairy farms to have a shorter, single-group dry cow feeding program instead of the traditional two-group cow program.  Listen here:

Here’s a transcript of today’s radio segment:

DairyLine: Ken, what are the benefits for shortening the dry period?

Ken Zanzalari: Bill, the main benefit is keeping cows in production about two weeks longer. If you look at the economics of today’s milk price, I would say $24 milk, an estimated 60 lbs of milk and the cow ready to be dried off, that’s an extra $216 per lactation. If you look at it for a 20,000 lb herd – that’s about another 5% increase in revenue, so a fairly significant number.

Two other benefits that come to mind would be that managing one group of dry cows is just a simpler program than managing a two group dry cow program. The other important thing is fewer cow moves, so we’re not moving cows from one group to another. We’ve reduced that, which has been shown to reduce the social stress and subsequent loss of dry matter intake in those animals, which is extremely important.

DairyLine: So how do shorter dry periods affect feeding a negative DCAD diet to help reduce the risk of low blood calcium in transition cows?

Ken Zanzalari: Regardless of whether you implement a one or two group dry cow program, the risk and the incident level of clinical and sub-clinical milk fever are the same. It’s been documented through several well run studies that feeding a negative DCAD diet pre partum as part of a one group dry cow program would be similar to implementing it in a two group dry cow program. So, regardless of a one or two group dry cow program, you feed and manage those cows the same with a negative DCAD program.
So, our recommendation at Prince is full acidification with high dietary calcium.

DairyLine: What can you tell us about adding Prince’s nutritional specialty product, Animate, to close-up diets to help achieve a negative DCAD diet?

Ken Zanzalari: Animate is our patented DCAD technology. Probably the biggest attribute when feeding Animate is its palatability – and Animate does that probably better than any other way of feeding a negative DCAD program. A second attribute is that Animate is a complete anionic mineral, meaning that it delivers the other critical mineral nutrients necessary for properly feeding these cows. So, whether you’re feeding a negative DCAD program in a one or two group dry cow program, the use of Animate in a negative DCAD diet will help deliver significant economic payback to the dairymen.

DairyLine: And finally, how can producers determine if the single dry cow program strategy is right for their operation?

Ken Zanzalari: You know, whether a dairyman implements a one or two group dry cow program, I want to make the point that cows do not need a 60-day dry cow period. I still see a lot of dry cows being dried for 50, 55, and over 60 days. Reducing days dry between 40 and 45 is the starting point. I would just encourage them to have a discussion with their nutritional consultant and veterinarian first. That’s their starting point.  Because during periods of low calving, that may be time to switch from a two group to a one group.

So, implementing this as a program that you will go forward with, day in and day out, may be the optimal decision. But certainly, there are other times because of the production cycle of a farm where implementing the one group dry cow program may be more appropriate. It all starts with a discussion with their farm advisors – the herdsman, the folks working with the cows on the farm and certainly their nutritional and veterinary consultant. 

DairyLine: Thanks, Ken.  That’s Ken Zanzalari, Animate product manager with Prince Agri Products.