Latest articles

Dairy Corner: Vitamin A expensive, but necessary

Although the price has shot up, it is important to keep the nutrient in dairy rations

Prices of vitamin A (along with vitamins D and E) have increased to 10 times their former costs from just a few months ago. This skyrocketing price is due to a recent fire at a new manufacturing facility in Germany as well as several vitamin ADE plants that are down for maintenance in China. Together, these events have caused a worldwide shortage […] Read more

Feeding yeast is a good investment

These single-cell organisms can hit on many cylinders to help optimize milk performance

For many years, I have formulated dairy diets with yeast for both dry and lactating dairy cows. It has been my professional intention to promote good dairy nutrition, or solve a particular problem that limits good dairy performance. On occasion, I have seen direct benefits within a couple of days by adding yeast, while other […] Read more

Proper diets take a bite out of wind chill

When temperatures dip, it’s time to torque up the ration

Beef cow diets developed at the beginning of winter when temperatures were mild are not adequate to meet their energy requirements when new year’s winds blow. That’s because pregnant beef cows need extra calories in order to keep warm, rather than burning up fat reserves needed for the upcoming calving season. Therefore, if it is […] Read more

Key tips to reduce milk fever cases

Incidence of the calcium deficiency can be sporadic, but hurt when they hit

Clinical milk fever is a particular insidious metabolic disease in freshened dairy cows. I have witnessed on some dairies, it’s not a significant problem, while next-door neighbours are plagued with downer cows one calving after another. In other dairies, milk fever doesn’t show up for months and then it shows up with a vengeance. From […] Read more

Does it pay to put weight on cull cows?

To decide best time to sell, pencil out the cost of feeding for a couple of months

Most producers have walked through their cow herds after the weaning season and picked out candidates for a cull group. Many of these are first-calf heifers and cows that were preg-checked and found open, while a smaller group were culled due to poor feet, legs and other structure defects. Even a few cows destined for […] Read more

Cow ration will have long-term impact in calf

􏰃Feed the grow􏰄ing unborn calf􏰅􏰆, and 􏰇meet the cow’􏰄􏰈s w􏰄inter requirements

In fall I visit several different cow herds going into winter. One of the first herds I saw this year was a 300 Angus-Simmental cows grazing drought-stricken pasture. I understood from the producer that his herd was nearly four months pregnant and the calves were going to be weaned about a month earlier than in […] Read more

Minerals now benefit next breeding season

It’s too late to fix mineral deficiencies when bulls are turned out with cows

Despite recent rain/snows, prolonged dry conditions this summer have left a wake of poor grazing pastures across the Prairies. High-fibre (aka low-energy) and low-protein grass has been the norm as well as a very poor mineral profile. A well-balanced autumn/winter mineral (and vitamin) program is necessary for gestating beef cows and replacement heifers in order […] Read more