Science & Solutions No. 61 - Ruminants

Promote higher performance levels

The dairy industry is changing. In general terms, demand for milk and milk products around the world is on the rise. Increasing economic pressures including the rising cost of inputs and tighter margins mean that any dairy unit has to be run with precision.

Genetic improvements have given animals the ability to produce more milk than ever before, and technological improvements in milking parlour equipment are delivering a huge amounts of information to managers. Management techniques therefore have to be adapted to meet and optimize the changing needs of the dairy herd in order to keep naturally ahead.

In this issue of Science & Solutions, we explore the topic of herd management in detail, firstly focusing on pre-weaned calves. Although not directly contributing to farm outputs, calves are the future of the dairy herd so taking care of them is of utmost importance. Paige Gott draws attention to five key areas of calf management that cannot be overlooked if performance levels are to be maximized.

Aflatoxins are of major concern to dairy producers because of their ability to contaminate final milk products. Exposure to aflatoxins can be a risk to human health, hence the level of importance of eliminating aflatoxins in dairy production. Various strategies can be employed to this effect, but as Tim Jenkins highlights in our second article, the most important strategies are to ensure feed quality, and to apply an effective and selective mycotoxin binder.

Finally, we continue our series on herd health, this time focusing on sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA). Enjoy reading this issue of Science & Solutions, keeping you naturally informed.

In this issue

Ensure Pre-Weaned Calf Health by Focusing on These 5 Key Areas
Raising healthy calves is crucial to the success of a dairy operation as heifers are the future of the milking herd. While calves do not directly contribute to the output of the farm, it is tempting to cut costs and lower management standards for this group of animals. However, focus on five key areas should be maintained to ensure future herd profitability.

Keeping Aflatoxin Out of Milk
Aflatoxin contamination is one of the biggest concerns faced by dairy producers all over the world. But the risk of contamination can be reduced by close management of the feed, ensuring it is of the highest quality, and by applying an effective and selective mycotoxin binder.

What is Wrong With My Herd? Part 8: Sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA)
A handy diagnostic checklist of symptoms, causes and remedies.