Science & Solutions No. 53 - Ruminants US

Is money saved, money earned?

Unfortunately, this is not really the case on dairy farms. Low milk prices have a real impact on dairy farmers and most of them are looking for ways to reduce expenses while maintaining milk production.

Feeding costs are the biggest expense category on a dairy farm, accounting for about 50 to 60% of total costs. This is the reason why farmers have to focus on feeding strategies to make their business more profitable. One simple principle to keep in mind is to resist the temptation to cut resources for non-productive animals. In this issue of Science & Solutions, the value of investing in the first stage of a calf ’s life is discussed. Similarly, the rule with lactating cows is not to cut anything that cuts milk production. That is bad economics. The focus should be on income rather than feed cost. Producing high quality forages is a synonym for success on a dairy farm. Protein-rich, highly digestible forage can reduce the amount of purchased feed necessary to maintain high output levels. Accurate harvest planning is crucial, but sometimes weather conditions or a lack of available machinery at the right time can compromise the final quality of the forage. If forage quality is poor, the only way to supply the animal with enough protein and energy is to rely on concentrates, which increase ration costs and metabolic pressure. High levels of grains in the diet could lead to subacute ruminal acidosis, which has a detrimental effect both on milk production and animal health. Endotoxins and mycotoxins may then “cooperate” to make the situation even worse. Despite all efforts, it is not always possible to keep everything under control. The best way to minimize problems is to prevent, rather than try to cure them. BIOMIN has developed solutions to keep dairy farmers naturally ahead.

Enjoy reading this issue of Science & Solutions, keeping you naturally informed.

In this issue

High Quality Forage Unlocks Dairy Herd Potential
Zanetta Chodorowska answers some common questions about how to prepare the best quality forage, ensuring that your high-performing dairy herd is fed for success

The Link between Endotoxins and Mycotoxins
The two main toxin risks for dairy production and cow health are mycotoxins from fungi and endotoxins from bacteria. Both types of toxin can exacerbate the health risk to the animal of the other toxin. We explore the links between these very different toxins and how best to manage both risks.

What Is Wrong With My Herd – Part 6: Calf Growth
A handy diagnostic checklist of symptoms, causes and remedies.