Current economic conditions are causing intense frustration throughout the dairy industry. There are many items over which you have no control, but there ARE things that you can control—both from an income and expense perspective. Our five year study of feed management illustrated many opportunities which exist to improve income over feed cost. Too often dairy producers make the mistake of assuming that a good nutritionist will fix all of their problems to assure high milk production at a low cost per cwt. It’s up to the dairy manager to ensure that the recommendations are carried out. Focus on these three items to improve the accuracy of the feeding program.
These three items require a commitment by the manager to adopt routine practices of forage analyses and monitoring of dry matter. Feed management software and hardware with proven success on dairies includes: (in alphabetical order) EZ Feed, Feed Supervisor, Feed Watch and TMR Tracker.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, re-print, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Alan L. Grant, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; Jewel E. Hairston, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State, Petersburg.
May 30, 2012