Nutrition and Feed Management

Information and tools to assist in managing dairy cattle nutrition and feed management, including resources on forage, silage, pasture, and water needs. Tips on monitoring heifer growth and weaning strategies for heifers and calves.

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Overgrazing pastures compromises pasture production and exposes the soil to erosion
Avoid Overgrazing Your Pastures - Articles Articles

Avoid Overgrazing Your Pastures

Justin Brackenrich, Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

The summer is upon us and cool season grasses are slowing down their growth. This is the time to pay attention so you don’t overgraze those pastures. More
Hairy vetch, rye, annual ryegrass, and clover cover crop being grazed. Photo Credit: Sjoerd Duiker, Penn State University
Grazing Crop Residues and Cover Crops - Articles Articles

Grazing Crop Residues and Cover Crops

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

Grazing has been largely excluded from our croplands but is receiving new interest as an additional profit center for farmers as well as a way to improve soil. More
Photo credit: Coleen Jones
Animal Feed Safety Practices to Prevent Aflatoxin in Milk - Articles Articles

Animal Feed Safety Practices to Prevent Aflatoxin in Milk

Ginger D Fenton, PhD, Robert J. Van Saun, DVM, MS, PhD

Animal feed production is undergoing a shift in approach to food safety, with preventive measures to address possible hazards before they occur. More
Dairy Sense: Formula to Profitability is MBA
Dairy Sense: Formula to Profitability is MBA - Articles Articles
Successful farms implement good management practices, find balance in their various enterprises, and invest in appropriate assets. More
Dairy Sense: Qualifying for the Six Pound Club
Dairy Sense: Qualifying for the Six Pound Club - Articles Articles
Increasing milk components can boost milk price even if milk volume stays the same. More
Photo credit: Coleen Jones
Rumen Development, Don’t Wean Calves Without It! - Articles Articles

Rumen Development, Don’t Wean Calves Without It!

Coleen M. Jones, Jud Heinrichs

Regardless of how much milk you are feeding calves or what age they are at weaning, if the rumen is not ready, calves are in for a rough transition. More
Photo credit: Matt Gabler
Dairy Sense: Know Your Herd’s Feed Costs? - Articles Articles
Maintaining positive cash flow on dairy farms requires good management of cropping, feeding, and financials. More
Photo credit: Dave Swartz
Dairy Sense: The Major Influencer of Cash Flow Mechanics - Articles Articles
Focus on total pounds of milk produced, not milk per cow, for positive cash flow. More
Penn State Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop
Penn State Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop - Articles Articles

Penn State Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop

Coleen M. Jones, Jud Heinrichs

Annual event provides continuing education for feed industry professionals. More
From Harvest to Feed: Understanding Silage Management
From Harvest to Feed: Understanding Silage Management - Articles Articles

From Harvest to Feed: Understanding Silage Management

Coleen M. Jones, Gregory W. Roth, Ph.D., Virginia A. Ishler

Feeding adequate quantities of high-quality forages is the basis of profitable milk and livestock production. More
Feeding the Newborn Dairy Calf
Feeding the Newborn Dairy Calf - Articles Articles

Feeding the Newborn Dairy Calf

Coleen M. Jones, Jud Heinrichs

Calf health, growth, and productivity rely heavily on nutrition and management practices. More
Photo credit: Mauricio Rosales
Selective Dry Cow Therapy, An Option to Consider - Articles Articles
Selective dry cow therapy can help decrease the use of antibiotics in food animals without compromising animal health. More
Penn State Particle Separator
Penn State Particle Separator - Articles Articles

Penn State Particle Separator

Jud Heinrichs, Coleen M. Jones

The Forage and TMR Particle Separator was designed to help in determining the correct forage particle length needed to improve ruminant nutrition. More
Customized Dairy Heifer Growth Chart
Customized Dairy Heifer Growth Chart - Articles Articles

Customized Dairy Heifer Growth Chart

Coleen M. Jones, Jud Heinrichs

Generates a growth chart from mature size and age at first calving. Compares heifer performance to growth required to meet herd goals, not to a breed standard. More
Nutrition may help prevent mastitis
Nutrition, Immunity and Mastitis - Articles Articles

Nutrition, Immunity and Mastitis

Robert J. Van Saun, DVM, MS, PhD

The role of nutrition in mastitis prevention is reviewed relative to its impact on immune response of dairy cows More
Determining Forage Quality: Understanding Feed Analysis
Determining Forage Quality: Understanding Feed Analysis - Articles Articles
Learn how to use feed analysis to determine forage quality, and exactly what feeding a high quality forage means. More
Conventional Feed Schedule Component Conventional Feed Schedule Component - Articles

Conventional Feed Schedule Component

Virginia A. Ishler, Dan Ludwig

Feed management plan in a tie-stall dairy facility More
The graph generated from the Penn State IOFC tool
Income Over Feed Cost - Articles Articles

Income Over Feed Cost

Virginia A. Ishler

Monitoring income over feed costs (IOFC) is a way to evaluate a dairy's profitability. Several options are available to determine and interpret IOFC. More
Food Safety Modernization Act - Preventive Controls for Animal Feed Rule
Food Safety Modernization Act - Preventive Controls for Animal Feed Rule - Articles Articles

Food Safety Modernization Act - Preventive Controls for Animal Feed Rule

Ginger D Fenton, PhD, Robert J. Van Saun, DVM, MS, PhD, Luke LaBorde, Ph.D.

Learn the details and find educational resources on the FSMA Animal Feed Rule, including videos and training opportunities that address requirements, exemptions, and deadlines of the rule. More
Photo credit: Ginger Fenton
FSMA and VFD: How Is My Dairy Farm Affected? - Articles Articles

FSMA and VFD: How Is My Dairy Farm Affected?

Ginger D Fenton, PhD, Robert J. Van Saun, DVM, MS, PhD

Enacted to further improve the safety of our food supply, these laws will impact most farms. More
Feed Me the Scoop on Veterinary Feed Directive Feed Me the Scoop on Veterinary Feed Directive - Articles

Feed Me the Scoop on Veterinary Feed Directive

Capri Stiles-Mikesell, Greg Strait

Description of in-feed medications and how they fit into the new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rules taking effect January 1, 2017. More
Photo credit: Jill Kopfer
Economics and Effects of Accelerated Calf Growth Programs - Articles Articles
Increasing heifer growth rates, regardless of the feeding strategy, improves the odds of earlier age at calving, which can dramatically lower heifer costs. More
CalfTrack Calf Management System
CalfTrack Calf Management System - Articles Articles

CalfTrack Calf Management System

Jud Heinrichs, Coleen M. Jones

CalfTrack is a comprehensive program to train employees that are responsible for calf care. More
How Efficient Are Your Calves?
How Efficient Are Your Calves? - Articles Articles
Feeding more milk replacer to calves can increase average daily gain, but can reduce starter intake and lower nitrogen efficiency and postweaning digestion. More
Figure 1. Conversion of glucose to acetate. Source: "Digestion: The Fermentative Processes"
Ionophores: A Technology to Improve Cattle Efficiency - Articles Articles
This article explains how the use of ionophores--antibiotics that shift ruminal fermentation patterns--can improve cattle production efficiency. More
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