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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Pasture, Body Condition, and Reproduction
Pasture, Body Condition, and Reproduction - Articles Articles
Pasture systems often result in lower BCS or greater loss of BCS during the first 1 to 2 months of lactation, and supplementation to restore body condition has many benefits. More
Feeding During Shortages of Home-Grown Feeds
Feeding During Shortages of Home-Grown Feeds - Articles Articles

Feeding During Shortages of Home-Grown Feeds

Jud Heinrichs, Virginia A. Ishler

Filling a forage gap may require reducing forage intakes or purchasing additional feeds. Economics and nutritional value of potential feeds should be considered when developing a plan. More
Economics of Supplemental Feeding with Pasture-Based Systems
Economics of Supplemental Feeding with Pasture-Based Systems - Articles Articles
Consider milk and feed prices, substitution rates, and expected yield and component responses when deciding how much supplemental feed to offer. More
Fat Supplementation with Pasture-Based Systems
Fat Supplementation with Pasture-Based Systems - Articles Articles
Supplementation of fat appears to increase milk production by dairy cows grazing high-quality pastures, but the effect depends on type of fat supplement and stage of lactation. More
Photo credit: Andrew Sandeen
Managing to Get More Milk and Profit from Pasture - Articles Articles
Grazed pasture represents the cheapest source of nutrients for dairy cows, but managing a pasture system is challenging. More
Photo credit: Mat Haan
Pasture Quality and Quantity - Articles Articles
What defines high quality pasture and how we can develop and maintain a high quality sward in abundant quantity? More
Photo credit: Mat Haan
Supplementation of Lactating Cows on Pasture - Articles Articles
Supplementing to maximize rumen fermentation and microbial protein synthesis is a challenge to efficiently utilizing pasture for high producing dairy cows. More
Enhancing Milk Components with Pasture-Based Systems
Enhancing Milk Components with Pasture-Based Systems - Articles Articles
In pasture-based systems the amount and type of concentrate fed, processing of ingredients, and feeding method influence milk yield and components. More
Soybeans and Soybean Byproducts for Dairy Cattle
Soybeans and Soybean Byproducts for Dairy Cattle - Articles Articles

Soybeans and Soybean Byproducts for Dairy Cattle

Virginia A. Ishler, Gabriella A. Varga

Soybeans are an excellent source of essential amino acids and complement most forages, but have some limitations. More
Troubleshooting Problems with Milkfat Depression
Troubleshooting Problems with Milkfat Depression - Articles Articles

Troubleshooting Problems with Milkfat Depression

Virginia A. Ishler, Richard S. Adams

Monitoring the milk components of a herd can help assess the health and nutritional status of lactating cows. More
Supplementing Pasture with a Total Mixed Ration
Supplementing Pasture with a Total Mixed Ration - Articles Articles
Feeding a partial TMR to grazing cows offers more “control” over the entire feeding program compared to offering pasture and grain separately. More
Use of Commodity Ingredients for Dairy Cattle
Use of Commodity Ingredients for Dairy Cattle - Articles Articles

Use of Commodity Ingredients for Dairy Cattle

Virginia A. Ishler, John Tyson, Peter Tozer

Explore ingredient storage, nutrient composition and variability, and considerations for managing a commodity-based feeding system. More
Pasture-Based Systems for Dairy Cows in the United States
Pasture-Based Systems for Dairy Cows in the United States - Articles Articles
Dairy producers have adopted grazing systems in an attempt to reduce the input costs and increase the profit margin per cow. More
Average Nutrient Composition of Typical High Quality Pastures (dry matter basis)
Average Nutrient Composition of Typical High Quality Pastures (dry matter basis) - Articles Articles
Reference table of typical nutrient composition of high quality pasture. More
Photo credit: Mat Haan
Pasturing Dry Cows and Heifers - Articles Articles
Pasture can be a cost-effective feed for dry cows and heifers, but must be managed to ensure animals meet performance goals. More
Reducing Dietary Phosphorus in the Dairy Herd Reducing Dietary Phosphorus in the Dairy Herd - Articles
This publication addresses the phosphorus needs of the dairy cow and ways in which dietary phosphorus can be reduced. More
Carbohydrate Nutrition for Lactating Dairy Cattle
Carbohydrate Nutrition for Lactating Dairy Cattle - Articles Articles

Carbohydrate Nutrition for Lactating Dairy Cattle

Virginia A. Ishler, Gabriella A. Varga

This article examines limitations of lab methods predicting forage quality, components of the carbohydrate portion of feeds, and effects of management on carbohydrate nutrition. More
Nitrogen, Ammonia Emissions and the Dairy Cow
Nitrogen, Ammonia Emissions and the Dairy Cow - Articles Articles
This article explains how nitrogen fed to cows contributes to ammonia emissions and explores feeding strategies to reduce excess nitrogen in the diet. More
Carbon, Methane Emissions and the Dairy Cow
Carbon, Methane Emissions and the Dairy Cow - Articles Articles
Methane contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, but some dietary practices reduce methane production, including ionophores, fats, high quality forages, and increased grain. More
Feed Efficiency in Lactating Cows and Relationship to Income Over Feed Costs
Feed Efficiency in Lactating Cows and Relationship to Income Over Feed Costs - Articles Articles

Feed Efficiency in Lactating Cows and Relationship to Income Over Feed Costs

Jud Heinrichs, Virginia A. Ishler, Daryl Maulfair

Feed efficiency measures the relative ability of cows to turn feed nutrients into milk or milk components. In the simplest terms it is the pounds of milk produced per pound of dry matter consumed. More
Total Mixed Rations for Dairy Cows
Total Mixed Rations for Dairy Cows - Articles Articles

Total Mixed Rations for Dairy Cows

Jud Heinrichs, Alanna Kmicikewycz

Total mixed rations help dairy cows achieve maximum performance and are the most common method for feeding high producing, indoor-housed dairy cows in the world. More
Table: Comparison of Commercial Electrolyte Products
Table: Comparison of Commercial Electrolyte Products - Articles Articles
Summary of selected nutrients in commercial oral rehydration products. Table assumes products are mixed with water according the manufacturer's directions. More
Colostrum Supplements and Replacer
Colostrum Supplements and Replacer - Articles Articles

Colostrum Supplements and Replacer

Coleen M. Jones, Jud Heinrichs

Colostrum products can be valuable tools to increase calf immunity. This article describes the composition and effectiveness of colostrum supplements and replacers. More
Feeding Low Protein Diets to Dairy Cows
Feeding Low Protein Diets to Dairy Cows - Articles Articles

Feeding Low Protein Diets to Dairy Cows

Alexander Nikolov Hristov, Ph.D., Fabio Giallongo

Discussion of benefits to feeding diets with lowered protein content while meeting true animal requirements for metabolizable protein. More
Using the Calf Milk Pasteurization Evaluator Spreadsheet
Using the Calf Milk Pasteurization Evaluator Spreadsheet - Articles Articles

Using the Calf Milk Pasteurization Evaluator Spreadsheet

Coleen M. Jones, Jud Heinrichs, Bob James, Chase Scott

Instructions for using the Calf Milk Pasteurization Evaluator spreadsheet, interpreting its output, and estimating waste milk supply and demand. More