Milk components for all they’re worth!

“No matter your location, all dairy producers are focused on getting the most from their inputs. By delivering the nutrients cows need to perform optimally, performance and profits can be maximized through both milk and component production.” – Elliot Block

According to Block of Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition, producing more milk is not the only means to increased profits. Increasing milk fat and protein levels is a proven way to bulk up the milk check. Even small improvements in milk components can result in greater returns from the same amount of milk. Compare the two herds in 
Table 1 to see the influence milk components can have on profitability.

To help producers maximize components, Block offers these tips:

  1. Measure profit potential with Income Over Feed Cost (IOFC). Increasing components may involve a greater initial investment, but payback potential must also be considered.
  2. Balance rations for dietary cationanion difference (DCAD) to increase milk fat in a short time period.
  3. Deliver limiting amino acids for increased protein production.
  4. Test forages frequently to determine optimal ration formulation.
  5. Feed high quality forages to promote proper breakdown in the rumen, boosting volatile fatty acid (VFA) levels and milk fat.
  6. Consult your nutritionist for recommended ration formulations using ingredients that you have available.

Source: Elliot Block. “Make milk more valuable with components.” Progressive Dairyman. September 1, 2011: 35-36.

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