When paddocks are sodden and moisture levels go off the chart, even with the best feed budgets animals are likely to be exposed to mineral deficiencies. Those who exercise a little foresight can reduce animal health issues down the line.
Peak milk levels may seem a distant thought, but the basis for success in this area must be laid well in advance. Preparing the dry cows’ diet and keeping them in good condition through early lactation will produce results when it counts.
Fodder beet is increasingly popular as a winter feed for dairy cows. However, it does have some nutritional constraints, including a low phosphorus content, low fibre level (<20%) and less than optimal protein content (13%). It does have a high sugar content, which makes it very palatable.
As one of the most common metabolic disorders seen on modern dairy farms, ketosis is a major source of frustration, not to mention costs, for New Zealand farmers. While it can be treated, it's better to prevent it in the first place. The right feed management has everything to do with it.
In the three weeks before and after calving, the dairy cow undergoes profound physiological changes. Give her the right nutritional support during that time, and her metabolism will deliver ample rewards well beyond calving, throughout the following lactation.