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Ideas & Strategies for Right Now!. Ideas & Strategies for Dairy/Beef Producers…. Presented by Jim Faust, Ag Agent. Strategy #1 - Survey the Situation…. Inventory forage… High quality… --Alfalfa… Medium quality… --Grassy hay… Low quality… --Corn silage…

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Ideas & Strategies for Dairy/Beef Producers…

Presented by

Jim Faust, Ag Agent


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Strategy #1 - Survey the Situation…

  • Inventory forage…

    • High quality… --Alfalfa…

    • Medium quality… --Grassy hay…

    • Low quality… --Corn silage…

  • Inventory animal numbers & classes…

    • Dry cows

    • Heifers

    • Bred heifers

    • Milk cows


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Look at the “Big Picture”…

Adequate

No diet change needed

Minor Deficit

+ Corn silage

- Feed wastage

Major Deficit

Same as minor deficit

Low forage diets

High fiber byproducts

Limit feed

Straw, CRP etc

Under supervision

Of a ration consultant


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Strategy #2 - Divide & Conquer…

Allocate limited resource (forage) to the right class of livestock…


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#2 - Divide & Conquer Strategy…

  • Early lactation > mid lactation > late lactation…

  • Milking > late gestation > mid gestation…

  • Weaned calves > open heifers > bred heifers > 2nd parity cows > mature cows…


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#2 - Divide & Conquer Strategy…

  • Highest quality forages;

    • Early lactation

    • Calves

    • Young heifers

    • Thin cows

  • Lowest quality forages;

    • Dry cows in mid gestation

    • Do NOT short close up cows


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#3 – Make Timely Purchases…

  • Buy early…

  • Be a smart shopper…

  • Look for the “fire sales”…

    • Drought stressed corn silage…

    • Drought stressed soybean…

  • Be creative…

    • Reeds canarygrass from low lands…

    • CRP ???


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Cautions with High Corn Silage Diets for Dairy Cows…

  • Forage test, don’t guess – NDF, NFC, starch & NEl vary widely…

  • Maximum levels 2/3rd to 3/4th of the forage DM…

  • If > 3/4ths – balance with coarse chopped hay or straw for TMR particle size…

  • Minimum NDF-forage = >18%

  • Buffers may be needed…

  • Dry grains may need finer processing??



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#4 – Reduce Waste…

  • Store hay properly…

  • Practice good bunk management…

    • Feed to a near empty bunk…

    • Keep sorting to a minimum…

  • Use hay feeders that minimize waste…

  • Limit access to hay…



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Process TMR finer…

Feed less of TMR more often…

Add less hay to mix…

Process hay finer…

Use higher quality hay…

Use hay that is more pliable…

Process corn silage…

Add water to TMR…

Add LPS to mix…

#4 – Reduce Waste - Bunk Sorting Strategies…




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#4 – Reduce Waste

Outer 6”

33% of the bale

Inner 3’

25% of the bale

Outer 12”

50% of the bale


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#4 – Reduce Waste - Limit Time Access to Hay…

Mature Cows - 50 days

Second Calf Cows – 50 days

Lemenager, Purdue University


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#5 – Extend Forage with Alternative Roughages…

1 lb straw replaces 2 lbs of alfalfa silage.


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#6 – Extend Forage with Byproduct Feeds…

1 lb brewers grains replaces .5 lbs of alfalfa silage.


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#6 – Extend Forage with Byproduct Feeds…

1 lb cottonseed replaces 1.2 lbs of alfalfa silage.


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#7 – Limit Feeding…

  • Where does it fit?

    • Dry cows…

    • Breeding age heifers...

  • Marshfield research where intake was limited to 80 to 90% showed;

    • Improved feed efficiency by 20%...

    • Did not lower animal growth..

    • But found heifers “vocalized” more…


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#8 – Minimum Forage Diets…

  • Where does it fit?

    • Dairy;

      • Dry cows…

      • Breeding age heifers…

    • Beef;

      • Dry cows…

      • Heifers…

      • Lactating cows…



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#9 – Graze Corn Stalks…

Thumb rule – One acre of “normal” corn stalks will carry one cow for one month.


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Beef producer;

Open old cows

Open replacement heifers

Old unsound cows

Anything with a killer attitude

Thin cows over 7 years old

Very late bred 2 year olds

Dairy producer;

Cows with chronic mastitis

Open cows > 250 DIM

Johnes positives

Unsound cows i.e. udder, feet etc.

Open replacement heifers

#10 – Culling…



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