GFM Network News


The proper forage fibre is an important factor in minimizing effects of acidosis.

Signs of acidosis aren’t always clear

Dairy Corner: Correcting fibre in the diet can get milk production back on track

In my experience, only a handful of producers fail to notice the few cases of mild sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA) which pop up on occasion. In most barn walks that I have conducted, producers accept SARA as routine, yet know it can adversely affect cows’ health, reproduction and milk/milkfat yield. In some of these cases, […] Read more

There are several factors to consider to figure out why dairy cattle can be up and down on dry matter intake.

Reducing variability of dry matter intake for dairy cows

Dairy Corner: Several factors, including particle size, can affect how dairy cows eat

Optimizing dry matter intake (DMI) of a well-balanced dairy cow diet should be one of the mission statements of every dairy producer. It is the key to providing enough essential nutrients that support good milk production (and its components) in feed that cows can reasonably consume every day. Unfortunately, daily DMI among a lactating cow […] Read more


Many dairy producers wonder how to save on feed costs without sacrificing milk and milkfat production.

A cost-effective diet for dairy cows

Dairy Corner: Feed and yardage costs add up, but production is optimized

Most dairy producers want to feed cost-effective diets to their high milk- (milkfat) producing cows. That’s a tall order, which is most often achieved by obtaining the best lactation diets, first as a formula on paper and blended into a TMR, then put in front of the cows. Finally, it’s up to them to eat […] Read more

Proper ration 
helps dairy cows avoid negative energy balance.

Proper feed intake keeps dairy cows milking

Dairy Corner: Good management avoids negative energy balance

A good dry matter intake or DMI plan is really a foundation of building optimum energy intake by early-lactation dairy cows. This energy drives good milk yield (and milk fat) at peak production and over the rest of their lactation. Unfortunately, there is a natural lag time between peak milk production and subsequent peak DMI […] Read more


Newborn dairy calves need proper clean and dry shelters and proper feed to get them off to the best start.

Dairy calves need proper feed and winter housing

Whether in a straw house or plastic hutch, keep them clean, keep them fed

Whenever I see dairy calves raised outside in the winter, it often reminds me of a producer I met several years ago. At the time, he told me that years before, he raised pre-weaned dairy calves in the most dismal ways. He used to house about 15 outside in several lean-tos, which were a sheet […] Read more

Electrolyte products can help calves get through stress periods by maintaining fluid balance, stimulating appetite, and maintaining immune function.

Replenish vital fluid loss in dairy calves

Dairy Corner: Not only disease, but even heat stress can quickly take its toll

It might be a scouring sick dairy calf or an otherwise healthy one suffering from stress, but death can be minutes away if either calf loses more than 10 per cent of its bodyweight in fluids (water and electrolytes). Fortunately, we can save many of these dairy calves by recognizing the symptoms of dehydration and […] Read more


Dairy cows can often develop a uterine infection after calving.

Dirty conditions can lead to uterine infections

Barn cleanliness as well as nutrition can be among the contributors

Many dairy cows come down with a uterine infection after calving. Some are slight but some are more serious. While there are host of factors which cause them, some reasons such as a dirty calving area are obvious, other reasons such as persistent metabolic problems are not so clear. Fortunately, a good spring-cleaning and improvements […] Read more

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



Know your lactating dairy diet costs

Look to find a balance between very expensive and very cheap rations

Occasionally, I talk to dairy producers about the financial aspects of operating a barn, aside from dairy nutrition. All producers wish to reduce their lactating feed costs. One producer I know wants to switch to a notorious cheap protein supplement, while another wants to hire a private dairy consultant and tender out all dairy feed […] Read more