Cover drive-over silage piles properly to get more out of your feed supply PDF Print E-mail
El Lechero Dairy Basics - Feed and Nutrition
Written by Shawn Ryan   
Thursday, 15 August 2013 11:54

Silage and hay inventories continue to be a challenge on many dairy operations due to unfavorable weather and available land.

el_english_badgeTo stretch supplies of quality silage, proactive measures are necessary to ensure that forages are harvested at the peak time, inoculated at the chopper and packed to the ideal density.

But all of this work can go unnoticed if the ensiled forage isn’t covered and fed properly. A misstep in covering or feeding can lead to wasted silage and money down the drain.

Improving herd potential with milk meter data PDF Print E-mail
El Lechero Dairy Basics - Feed and Nutrition
Written by Vernon Hawks   
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 12:34

As the demand for milk increases, so does the demand to be more efficient. Today’s market volatility requires dairies to pay attention to the details – and most importantly – their costs.

Simply put, milk is what pays the bills and if you aren’t paying attention to your source of income, then you might be missing some profitable opportunities.

Many producers have milk testing done monthly, but not much can be decided with information received once a month.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 12:52
Shrink feed shrinkage PDF Print E-mail
El Lechero Dairy Basics - Feed and Nutrition
Written by J.W. Schroeder   
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 08:56

On most dairies, feed costs will represent the largest single expense. With escalating prices, feed is eating up what otherwise could be pretty good milk prices. Now more than ever, controlling shrinkage is imperative.

What is shrinkage? It is simply defined as the amount of feed delivered or raised on the farm that is not consumed by the cattle for which it was intended.

If you don’t measure the shrinkage, you can’t manage it. And the larger the dairy, the more important this factor is.

Filling bunker silos and drive-over piles: Packing safety PDF Print E-mail
El Lechero Dairy Basics - Feed and Nutrition
Written by Keith Bolsen and Ruth E. Bolsen   
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 15:44

0312el_bolsen_3From 2007 to 2011, an average of 108.5 million tons of whole-plant corn was harvested annually for silage in the U.S. The majority of corn silage was stored in bunker silos and drive-over piles.

But filling bunkers and piles can pose serious risks to employees, especially those who operate the pack tractors, unless safety guidelines are put in place in advance.

Preparing the Total Mixed Ration (TMR): What ingredients should I add first? PDF Print E-mail
El Lechero Dairy Basics - Feed and Nutrition
Written by Noelia Silva-del-Río   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 15:30

0212el_silva_del_rio_1To understand the right order of ingredients that should go into the mixer wagon, we must consider the physical properties of the ingredients that affect mixing, such as size, shape, density, water absorption capacity (hydroscopy), static electricity and adhesiveness.

Ingredient moisture
Dry ingredients of small particle size will stick to high-moisture ingredients such as silage or molasses. Therefore, it is important to properly mix the dry ingredients before adding the wetter ingredients.

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