Keynote: The Information Superhighway

Title: Getting Your Learners License
Author: Mark Varner
Summary: The Information Superhighway can be thought of as a global network of smaller interconnected computer networks and associated software technologies. Effective use of the Information Superhighway requires utilization of various computer software technologies. The six main technologies are electronic mail (e-mail), telnet, ftp, news groups, Gopher and World Wide Web (Web).

Session I: Positioning for Production

Title: Optimal Body Condition Score at Calving For Production and Health 
Author: Jim Spain
Summary: Changes in body condition score can and should be used to assess the level and change of body fat stores and as an indicator of energy balance. The ideal body condition score will support maximum peak milk production during the negative energy balance of lactation. High producing cows will lose body condition during early lactation, but large losses are associated with lower milk production and lower conception rates. Early lactation cows experience a period on negative energy balance after calving. Severity of negative energy balance can be estimated by monitoring body condition score changes.

Title: Close-Up Dry Period: Feeding Management for a Smooth Transition
Author: Ric Grummer
Summary: Cows will typically experience a 30 to 35% reduction in feed intake during the final two to three weeks prior to calving. Feed and manage cows to maximize feed intake during the transition period. Over conditioned cows are likely to have poor appetites, but do not feed restrict during the dry period. Avoid poor quality forages, unpalatable feeds, and legumes high in potassium during the transition period. Increase concentrate feeding during the transition period to stimulate intake, foster development of rumen papillae, acclimate rumen microorganisms, and reduce fatty acid mobilization from fat stores.

Title: Managing the Feeding System for Optimal Dry Matter Intake
Author: Jim Spain
Summary: Milk production is highly and positively related with dry matter intake. Optimal rumen fermentation must be maintained through proper diet formulation, mixing, and feeding for the cow to reach maximum dry matter intake. High fiber, low energy forages are a primary factor limiting dry matter intake on many dairy farms. Feeding system management to assure adequate access to the diet is also a key controlling point in reaching maximum dry matter intakes.

Ttitle: The Link Between Nutrition, Acidosis, Laminitis and Environment
Author: James E. Nocek
Summary: The link between nutrition, acidosis, and laminitis is the association with nutritional effects on causing metabolic acidosis (decreased rumen pH) and altered hemodynamics of the peripheral microvasculature resulting in hoof deterioration. The severity of laminitis depends on the duration and frequency of metabolic insults (i.e., slug feeding highly fermentable grain once daily).

Session II: Peaking with Persistency

Title: Matching Protein Delivery to Milk Production
Author: William Chalupa and Charles J. Sniffen
Summary: Metabolizable protein and amino acids are provided by ruminal escape feed protein and bacterial protein. Bacterial protein production is regulated by the amount and rumen fermentability of feed carbohydrate. During silage fermentation, some soluble non-cell wall components are metabolized to organic acids. Formation of organic acids has little effect on feed energy values, but can affect protein nutrition because bacteria do not grow on organic acids. Silage based rations may need to contain higher levels of crude protein with greater bypass.

Title: Fuel for Milk: Delivering Carbohydrate to the Rumen and Intestine At the Right Price
Author: James E. Nocek
Summary: The diversity in efficiency of carbohydrate use by microorganisms can significantly influence their growth rate. Grain processing can increase rumen availability of starch by 50% or more. To the level that nonstructural carbohydrate can be added to the diet, increasing the rumen availability of starch is more cost effective in providing essential amino acids (lysine and methionine) through microbial synthesis than supplementation of traditional high protein UIP sources.

Title: Strategies for Successful Fat Supplementation
Author: Ric Grummer
Summary: Many studies indicate that cows do not reduce body weight loss or increase milk yield when fed fat immediately after calving. Oilseeds should be the initial source of supplemental fat.
It is unlikely that too much oil will be fed from oilseeds if feeding guidelines for protein and/or fiber are adhered to. Feed additional fat beyond oilseeds only if body condition scores average less than 3.5 at dry off and body condition replenishment cannot be accomplished through additional grain feeding. Tallow is an acceptable second source of supplemental fat for dairy cows, however, milk fat percentage may be reduced when corn silage or grass is the predominant forage source.

Session III: The Information Super Highway

Title: Surfing the Net
Author: Mark Varner
Summary: Surfing the Net is not only easy, but there is also substantial dairy-related content available. Canadian content leads the world in many ways for this rapidly changing area. The Net should be considered as an important informational resource for all dairy producers and their public/private sector advisors.

Session IV: Keys to Success in Managing 150 Cow Herds: An International Perspective and Implications for Western Canadian Producers United States; Australia; EU; Canada

Title: Positioning Your Dairy Farm Business for a Profitable Future – A US Perspective
Author: Terry R. Smith
Summary: US dairy producers are facing the challenges associated with operating their businesses in a nearly de-regulated dairy economy. Understanding the importance of production, capital and labor efficiency, and economies of size are crucial to positioning a dairy farm business for the future. Some key performance measures and their relationship to dairy profitability help to better understand the opportunities for improving dairy farm profitability from both a short and long run perspective.

Title: Positioning Your Dairy Farm Business for a Profitable Future – An Australasian Perspective
Author: Ian J. Lean
Summary: Australasian dairy production is favored by excellent climates, temperate pastures and, in parts, access to low-cost commodities resulting in a lower cost of production. The challenge facing the smaller farm worldwide is to expand or improve performance in the face of falling prices for milk. Farms that survive will perform better than their peers by managing rather than doing, by improving nutritional management of the herds, and by adapting to change. For Canada to gain a larger portion of the international market Canadian dairy products will need to be unique or of superior quality.

Title: Positioning Your Dairy Farm Business for a Profitable Future – A European Union Perspective
Author: Myles Rath
Summary: The European Union has a very large dairy industry and is a major exporter of subsidized dairy products onto the world market. The existence of producer quotas within the EU has prevented the expansion of milk output since 1984. Failure to control costs in a quota situation is a major reason for low dairy margins. High milk yield per cow does not always lead to high margins in a quota situation and optimizing milk output from forage is one of the keys to profitable dairying. Heavy reliance on grazed grass for milk production seems to limit milk yield per cow due to limits on grass dry matter intake. Efficient grassland management is a very demanding skill and is very difficult to implement.

Title: Positioning Your Dairy Farm Business for a Profitable Future – A Western Canadian Perspective
Author: Timothy J. Richards
Summary: Large producers can reduce costs through increasing their utilization of fixed labor and equipment capacity. A high level of dept causes some large producers to have both higher operating costs and total production costs. The “optimal” herd size in Alberta using the 1989-1991 AMPS Costs of Production Survey data is 140 cows to achieve the lowest operating costs.

Session V: Reproduction

Title: Facts and Fallacies About the Uterus After Calving
Author: Donald J. Klingborg
Summary: Unbelievable. That single word best describes the structure and function of what is one of the most complex organs in the body. The uterus is simply unbelievable. It accepts a substance foreign to itself (the calf), blocks the normal body defenses designed to destroy foreign “invaders”, and nourishes, protects, and sustains the developing calf while the uterus grows from a diameter of about one inch to 24 inches or more.

Title: Neosporosis and Abortion in Dairy Cattle
Author: Mark Anderson, Bradd Barr, Joan Rowe, Karen Sverlow, Andrea Packham and Patricia Conrad
Summary: Fetal infections by the protozoa parasite, Neospora sp., is a newly recognized cause of abortion and congenital infection in cattle. This infection is the most common cause of abortion seen in many dairies throughout the world. Diagnosis of the infection is assisted by examinations of aborted fetuses and serologic testing of cows. At the present time there is no treatment or prevention for the infection and the life cycle of the parasite is not known. Cattle can be chronically infected with Neospora and can pass the infection onto their offspring during pregnancy.

Session VI: Nutrition and Immunity

Title: Potential Therapeutic Uses of Bovine Somatotropin in Cattle
Author: Robert J. Collier and John L. Vicini
Summary: Somatotropin is best known for its role in regulating milk production in cattle. However, this hormone has beneficial effects on other tissues which may provide therapeutic and prophylactic uses for it in the future.

Title: Supplemental Vitamin C May Enhance Immune Function in Dairy Cows
Author: Darren MacLeod, Lech Ozimek and John J. Kennelly
Summary: Ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate is a rumen stable source of ascorbic acid for ruminants. Ascorbic acid supplementation bolsters the immune response of calves. Antioxidant vitamins improve the immune response of dairy cattle.

Session VII: New Technology

Title: Bovine Somatotropin and Monensin: Emerging Technologies
Author: Ian J. Lean, L. Wade and S.D. Beckett
Summary: Both somatotropin (bST) and monensin will increase milk production, bST by acting on metabolism and monensin acting primarily to modify rumen fermentation. Both products can reduce the risk of ketosis. The bST by altering body composition in a prior lactation and monensin by a number of changes in rumen function, which can profoundly reduce ketone concentrations.  Somatotropin generally has a negative effect on fertility of dairy cows, but monensin appears to have had little overall effect in trials to date.

Title: Using DNA Technology to Alter Milk Composition
Author: David R. Glimm, Lech Ozimek, and John J. Kennelly
Summary: Advances in dairy breeding depend on our ability to combine the knowledge of science and technology with the wisdom of nature. Genotyping technology should be immediately transferred to the dairy breeding community. Routine genetic screening should be initiated, first for the major milk protein genes, and then later for other genes of economic importance as they are identified. The recently developed molecular technology of differential display can be applied to identify for the first time genes controlling traits of economic importance.

Title: Enzyme Enhancers: the Key to Unlocking the Energy from Feed
Author: J.A. Shelford, K.-J. Cheng and G.M. Kamande
Summary: An agent has been discovered that will enhance milk production 2.5 to 3.5 kg/cow/day through increased efficiency of feed utilization. Economic return from using such an agent ranges from 4:1 to 7.5:1.

Title: Nutrition Turns On Genes to Enhance Efficiency and Productivity
Author: Erasmus K. Okine, Feng-Qi Zhao and John J. Kennelly
Summary: As feed nutrients are transformed and modified by microorganisms present in the rumen, the supply of nutrients to the mammary gland and other tissues may differ markedly from that present in the diet. Nutrients reaching the gut, liver, mammary gland, and other tissues turn-on genes that in turn produce proteins that control the nutrients available for lactation, reproduction, and body reserves. Our understanding of how nutrients influence gene expression is limited. As we gain a better understanding of the complex relationship between nutrition and gene expression we will be able to more accurately and efficiently deliver nutrients to achieve our target level of milk production.

Session VIII: Nutrition and Environment

Title: Rumen-Protected Amino Acids Improve Milk Production and Milk Protein Yield
Author: Lyle M. Rode and Limin Kung Jr
Summary: Rumen-protected amino acids (RPAA) can be an effective substitute for dietary protein. RPAA can increase milk protein yield . RPAA technology is suitable as part of an environmentally responsible production system.

Title: Impact of Nutrition on Manure Management
Author: William Chalupa and James D. Ferguson
Summary: 20 to 35% of feed nitrogen is captured as milk protein. 65 to 80% of feed nitrogen is excreted in manure. Ration balancing can reduce nitrogen excretion. Ration formulation strategies mainly affect urine nitrogen.

Session IX: Planning for the Future An Economic Perspective

Title: Establishing Indices of Genetic Merit Using Hedonic Pricing: An Application to Dairy bulls in Alberta
Author: Timothy J. Richards and Scott R. Jeffrey
Summary: Market prices for semen can be used to determine the economic value of each trait reported in bull proofs. An increase of one point in a bull’s milk proof increases the marginal value of a bull by $0.70 per dose, whereas an increase in the protein proof has a marginal value of $7.00. Allowing for the positive marginal values to “Final Class” and “Capacity”, improvements in “Feet and Legs” and “Mammary System” have negative values.

Title: Factors Influencing Costs of Milk Production in Alberta
Author: Scott R. Jeffrey and Timothy J. Richards
Summary: Relative economic efficiency will have a significant influence on any reallocation of dairy production resulting from changes in the policy environment. Alberta producers are, on average, relatively efficient in their use of productive inputs (i.e., technical efficiency). Continuing to strive to get the most milk from productive inputs (i.e., being technically efficient) will help to keep Alberta producers competitive with dairy producers in other regions into the future.

Session XI: Mastitis Prevention and Treatment

Title: Quality Milk Production: Milking Practices and Procedures
Author: Andrew P. Johnson
Summary: Milking practices are the key to quality milk production. Quality milk production will be the key ingredient to the future dairy industry. Milking practices must be consistent by all people milking cows. Keep it simple and always milk a clean, dry, and well stimulated teat. Keeping cows clean, dry, and comfortable are essential ways to produce quality milk.

Title: Clinical Mastitis – To Treat or Not To Treat
Author: Stephen C. Nickerson
Summary: Strep. agalactiae is easily cured by approved antibiotic infusion products. Therapy of Staph. aureus mastitis greatly improves with extended or combination therapy. Extra-label treatment requires a valid veterinary/patient/client relationship. Oxytocin is effective in alleviating clinical symptoms of coliform mastitis. Antibiotics are more effective against Gram-positive than Gram-negative organisms.

Session XII: Replacement Heifers Feeding, Management, and Mastitis Prevention

Title: Replacement Heifers: the Key to Future Profits
Author: Andrew P. Johnson
Summary: Heifers are your future dairy herd and to reach their potential they must be properly managed. The sooner the heifers reach the milking herd, the sooner they can make a profit on your dairy. Nutrition and environment are the two areas that impact heifer performance the most. Optimizing heifer growth will help your farm compete today and in the future with all other dairies. Heifer management is an essential part of any farm.

Title: Mastitis Control in Replacement Heifers
Author: Stephen C. Nickerson
Summary: Mastitis is prevalent in breeding age and pregnant dairy heifers. Most infections are caused by Staph. aureus and other staphylococci. Antibiotic infusions during pregnancy or two months prepartum are >90% effective. Successfully treated heifers produce 10% more milk in early lactation. Fly control reduces prevalence of heifer mastitis.


Session I: Managing Reproduction — A Key to Profitable Dairy Farming

Title: Reproductive Health Programs
Author: James D. Ferguson
Summary:  Artificial insemination, reliance on human labour for estrus detection, and increased herd size combined with identification of the economic benefits of shorter calving intervals and specific therapies for specific reproductive pathologies furnished an environment conducive to marketing reproductive health programs for dairy herds (39). Scheduled fertility programs were offered by institutions and veterinary practices by the mid 1950’s (39) and are similar to programs employed on many farms today. Reproductive programs were promoted to reduce days open and the risk of culling problem cows. It was a reasonable inference that such programs would be cost effective for producers. Early comparisons demonstrated herds, or groups of cows with scheduled reproductive programs, had shorter calving intervals and fewer culls for reproductive failure when compared to herds not subscribing to such programs (2, 13).

Title: Achieving a Sound Reproductive Health Management Program
Author: Jack H. Britt
Summary: In order to have a sound reproductive management program, one must have definable goals for herd reproductive performance. Simple, achievable goals should provide the basis for the strategic herd health plan, and these goals should be consistent with profitable dairying.

Title: Improving Heat Detection in Tie-Stall and Free-Stall Environments
Author: Jack H. Britt
Summary: Catching cows in heat and breeding them at the right time using the correct artificial insemination procedures are necessary steps for successful reproductive management of a dairy herd. Regrettably, these steps can be neglected for days, weeks or even months before the economic consequences become apparent. Thus, the greatest challenge that one faces in motivating personnel to do a better job in these areas is persuading them that poor habits in catching heats and breeding cows lead to higher costs and lower incomes.

Title: An Economic Approach to Reproductive Programs in Dairy Herds
Authors: James D. Ferguson and David T. Galligan
Summary: Reproduction efficiency is an important management component that directly and indirectly influences the economic efficiency of a dairy operation (4,10) Direct effects are realized through controlling semen costs and by increasing the likelihood of an animal(s) remaining in the herd for future lactation(s). Indirect effects include the increased percentage of cow life spent in profitable milk (early lactation), increased rate of birth of herd replacements, increased rate of genetic gain through reduction in generation interval, and improved return on other cow interventions through reduced competitive risk.

Title: Constant Ration Density: the TMR Concept
Authors: Gordon Jones and Steve Stewart
Summary: A dairy cow has two types of digestive mechanisms: 1) a microbial system to digest fibrous material, and 2) a chemical system similar to humans and swine. A productive, economically efficient, healthy cow must by definition have a healthy rumen. Therefore, we must feed the rumen microbes first and the pig behind the rumen secondarily. It is of little value to feed or be concerned about post-ruminal digestion if rumen microbes are under severe stress.

Concurrent Session A1: Creating a Productive Environment

Title: Building for Cow Comfort
Authors: John Feddes, Barry Robinson and Robert Borg
Summary: The dairy cow’s environment has a profound affect on her productivity, health, and longevity. Free-stall surfaces are the number one factor that influence cow comfort. However, air quality is also important. Proper ventilation dries the barn in the winter and cools it in the summer. Barns and their equipment last longer if ventilation is adequate as surfaces remain dry.

Title: Manure Management: Turning a Potential Environmental Problem into a Valuable Resource
Authors: Rob Janzen and William McGill
Summary: Treating manure as a waste can lead to pollution, but treating manure as a resource protects the environment and may enhance profitability. Although the nitrogen and protein in manure estimated to be produced by confined animals (1991) has a value of $167 million, manure nutrients in Alberta tend to be wasted. Composting technology decreases the mass of manure to be distributed and produces material with value potentially greater than its nutrient content. Development of markets and of systems to supply markets will permit the potential value of manure and manure-derived products to be captured.

Concurrent Session A2 : Health and Management

Title: Udder Health is a Management Decision
Author: Richard Vanderwal
Summary: Udder health management is a focussed strategy built on specific milk quality goals. The level of mastitis in a herd is a dynamic interaction between the rate of new infections and the duration of existing infections. The keys to reducing the duration of new infections is to analyze antibiotic and supportive therapy rationale and options. The objective is to make management decisions on the basis of herd records and an understanding of the udder defense systems.

Title: Metabolic Diseases – The Symptoms of a Greater Problem?
Author: Steve Radostits
Summary: Most metabolic diseases occur during the period commencing at calving and ending at the peak of lactation. Therefore the feeding and management of the close-up dry cow and the fresh cow are the key to prevention. The dry cow period is not a rest phase, but rather a preparatory phase. Prepare for a trouble free, PROFITABLE, lactation by implementing carefully balanced far-away and close-up dry cow rations. Feed cows according to milk production AND body condition. Do not attempt to make body condition adjustments during the dry period.

Title: Identifying Limiting Nutritional Constraints to Profitability
Author: Michael F. Hutjens
Summary: Dairy managers should partition their feed costs to determine if all areas are price competitive compared to herds in their area at comparable production. Dry matter intake will be the key management factor to maximizing profitability including the role of forage quality, factors that limits consumption, and dry matter intake management factors. Purchased feeds should be portioned correctly to maximize profit responses based on milk yield and forage quality. Service is critical to profitability and must be evaluated.

Concurrent Session B1: Forages — The Foundation of Your Feeding Program

Title: Growing Quality Forages under Variable Environmental Conditions
Author: Dwayne R. Buxton
Summary: Forage age and maturity generally have a larger influence on forage quality than environmental factors. Plant environment, however, cause deviations in forage quality even when harvested at the same maturity. Temperature usually has greater influence on forage quality than other environmental factors. Although increasing temperature normally hastens maturity, the primary effect may be through its effect on the leaf/stem ratio with high temperatures promoting stem over leaf growth. Digestibility of both leaves and stems is lowered by warm temperatures because of resulting high cell-wall [estimated by neutral detergent fiber (NDF)] and low soluble sugar concentrations.

Title: Maintaining Forage Quality by Intensive Pasture Management
Author: E. Ann Clark
Summary: Variation in the nutritional value of pasture herbage has been identified as a key limitation to consistent, high levels of dairy cow performance on pasture. One solution is to adjust supplemental feeding, but another approach would seek to moderate or stabilize nutrition through improved grazing management, or what is termed management intensive grazing (MIG) in modern parlance.

Title: Maintaining and Enhancing Forage Quality During Harvest and Storage
Author: C. Alan Rotz
Summary: To maintain forage quality during harvest, rapid field drying is essential. Mechanical and chemical treatments can provide effective tools for speeding drying, but neither process can compensate for poor drying weather and/or thick dense swaths. Swath manipulation with a tedder or inverter can speed drying, but increased costs and losses caused by the operation may be greater than the average benefit received. Baling of moist hay can also reduce field curing time and harvest losses, but an effective treatment is needed to prevent excessive storage losses.

Title: Silage Additives – Profit Makers or Profit Takers?
Author: Limin Kung, Jr.
Summary: Silage additives are not substitutes for good management. Microbial inoculants can improve the nutritive value of silage, but not all inoculants are of equal value. Use of enzymes as silage additives has not resulted in consistent improvements in silage quality. Anhydrous ammonia and propionic acid can improve the aerobic stability of silages.

Title: Evaluating Alternative Technologies in Forage Production
Author: C. Alan Rotz
Summary: A computer simulation model of forage production and use provides a tool for evaluating forage technologies. The model, DAFOSYM, simulates alfalfa and corn growth, harvest, storage, feeding and use on a dairy farm. Forage losses and quality changes along with the use and costs of machines, structures, labour, fuel, chemicals, etc. are used to determine the profitability of forage systems. Simulation over many years of weather provides a long term evaluation of the performance and economics of alternative forage technology.

Concurrent Session B2: Marketing and Promotion

Title: Strategies for Successful Breeding and Marketing of Genetics in Domestic and Export Markets
Author: Richard Vanderwal
Summary: The Canadian Holstein today is less of a distinct bloodline, and more of a distinct philosophy. Top genetics exist in other countries, and we participate with them in creating global breed improvement strategies.Genetic Indices of sires and cows are important genetic tools, and need to be utilized in breeding decisions. However, the need for breeders to use their cow sense is increasingly important when we consider the use of changing management tools in the population, and the impacts they will have on the assumptions that underlie genetic evaluation models. Value-added cattle should be the result of a well-thought out breeding program. Our challenge today is to evaluate the cows in the barn in terms of profitable breeding goals, and to develop strategies to supply market demands.

Title: Investment in Advertising and Research in the Canadian Dairy Industry
Authors: Ellen Goddard and Apelu Tielu
Summary: The Canadian dairy industry has operated under supply management since the early 1970’s. Industrial milk quotas are administered at a national level, while fluid milk quotas are administered at a provincial level. Under supply management it is not possible for a producer to enter the industry or expand operations without purchasing existing quota. The industry has made planning and investment decisions regarding its long term livelihood under assumptions that supply management would continue unchanged, until recently. Changes to the supply management system agreed to as part of Canada’s obligation to the GATT have begun to take effect as of January 1995. These changes may radically affect industry investment decisions in activities such as promotion or research.

Title: New Product Development: An Analysis of the Processing Sector Investment in Research and the Success of the Products Developed.
Author: Lech Ozimek
Summary: An analysis of the food processing sector investment in Research and Development (R&D) and the success of the products developed shows that between 1984 and 1989, the annual number of new product introductions increased from 5,617 to 9,200 (2). From this volume only one product in ten ever makes it as far as consumer-testing, and only 10% of those ever make it to market. Therefore, it may be predicted that the market success of the products developed is in the range of 1%.

Title: Imitation Dairy Products: Are They Poised to Siphon the Profit out of the Dairy Industry?
Author: Earl Jenstad
Summary: The dairy industry has successfully preserved the purity and image of dairy products for several decades through legislation, standards of composition, quality, and safety assurance measures including the prohibition of imitation dairy products. The agreement to remove interprovincial barriers to trade, the GATT and NAFTA are causing us to redefine and restructure the rules of doing business.

Title: Yellow Gold – A Fresh Look at an Old Friend
Author: M. Tom Clandinin
Summary: The general public and health professionals hold a wide range of unfounded beliefs about diet fats. For example, many believe dairy fats are unhealthy. There is little evidence to suggest that reduction of palmitic acid in the diet of the normal individual will reduce his/her development of atherosclerosis. There is considerable evidence indicating that plasma cholesterol levels are genetically determined. The dairy industry should consider how to invest in developing NEW INFORMATION on old products and NEW PRODUCTS for high value added purposes.

Session II: A Vision for Dairy Production and Processing in Western Canada — What Will We Be Doing in 2010?

Title: The Canadian Dairy Industry in 2010 – A Producer’s Perspective
Author: Bruce Beattie
Summary: Dairy is seen by most governments as an essential part of a country’s economy. There are a number of good reasons for the special status that dairy farming has gained in the minds of governments, particularly in western society. Within our culture milk is considered to be an essential part of a healthy diet, and obviously with good reason given the size and health of our young generation. As well, dairy farms provide for a strong social fabric, allowing viable farms on smaller areas, therefore boosting rural culture and social structure. These are principles that should not be lost by governments intent on economic reforms.

Session III: Nutrition and Management

Title: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Changing to a TMR Feeding System
Author: Michael F. Hutjens
Summary: Adding TMR technology to existing facilities can return $46 per cow per year and pay off the entire investment in three years depending on herd size, milk increase, and initial investment based on a Wisconsin model with US inputs. A Missouri model indicated that a herd size of 100 cows or larger is needed to economically justify a new TMR system including feed storage and handling. Excellent success with TMR occurs if lead factors, commodity feeding, optimum grouping strategies, topdressing in tie stall barns, and bunk management occurs.

Title: Barley – As a Grain and Forage Source for Ruminants
Authors: John Kennelly, Erasmus Okine, and Reza Khorasani
Summary: Barley is the primary feed grain for ruminants in western Canada. Identification of barley varieties with the most desirable nutritional characteristics for ruminants is warranted. Animal nutritionists need to work closely with plant breeders to identify appropriate selection criteria.

Title: Commodity Feeds for Dairy Herds in Western Canada
Author: David Gibson
Summary: Commodity feeding versus traditional “complete” feeds appears to save between $25 to $30/tonne. However, partial budget analysis on a 200 cow operation shows a real savings of approximately $8/tonne. Feed program flexibility can be enhanced with commodity feeding, but it does require more nutritional advice to ensure its success. As less is purchased from a feedmill, the need for a nutritional consultant increases. Only producers milking at least 200 cows, and who enjoy and have the time to source commodities should consider commodity feeding.

Title: Dry Matter Intake and Milk Production
Author: Gordon Jones
Summary: Central to any discussion of dairy nutrition is a full grasp of the concept of dry matter intake (DMI). Dry matter intake is calculated by measuring the quantity of total feed intake per animal per day on a moisture-free basis. Several physiologic and management factors impact level of DMI and will be discussed later in more detail. However, one must be aware that DMI both drives milk production and is driven by milk production; i.e., the higher the DMI the higher the milk production and the higher the milk production the higher the DMI.