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Q: When it comes to a dairy’s bottom line, does it pay to have multiple feed groups?
A: YES, according to a recent 30-herd study headed by Victor Cabrera of the University of Wisconsin.
Cabrera’s research revealed an average income over feed cost jump of $400 per cow with a three-group strategy.
By grouping cows according to their feeding needs, producers can feed less energy, protein, and additives to lower-producing groups. Of course, there are also costs associated with feeding multiple rations – time and labor to mix separate rations, possible milk depression due to regrouping, and lower nutrient content of new feed.
To help producers determine whether multiple feed groups would benefit their operations, Cabrera developed a new online tool available on the Dairy Management – UW Extension’s website.
Source: Jim Dickrell. “One Group or More?” Dairy Today. November 2012: 17.