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					Cows and the Environment
Environmental and agricultural experts, politicians and the public have targeted livestock agriculture production systems as being a non-point source of pollution influencing the sustainability of our air, soil and water resources. Since the Walkerton tragedy, our provincial government has responded by passing the Nutrient Management Act (2002) and recently the Clean Water Act in December 2005. These two acts will play a pivotal role in the way dairy farmers approach feeding, manure management and crop production decisions in the future. Farmers often equate nutrient management with strict government protocols, additional expenses, and paper work, but it’s not all negative! Opportunity exists to turn environmental expectations into advantages by finetuning your dairy feeding program. Research investigating whole-farm nutrient flow has identified how crucial sound dairy cow nutrition is to maximize whole-farm nutrient efficiency. Dairy enterprises have a tendency to import more nutrients (in the form of feed and fertilizer) than they export (in the form of milk and meat) and the majority of imported nutrients come from feed. Therefore, it is important to maximize the utilization of on-farm feeds. Purchased feeds should only be fed at a level to support the nutritional requirements to meet the farm’s production goals. The Two Main Nutrients to Monitor Nitrogen Dietary protein contains nitrogen which is essential for milk production. Feeding excess crude protein will increase the Nitrogen content in dairy manure. Nitrogen in manure spread in surplus of crop requirements can potentially enter and pollute water resources. A rising concern is the loss of volatile Nitrogen as Green House Gas (GHG) both from manure and the gases emitted from cattle during the fermentation of fibre in the rumen. Dairy farms are reported

Nutrient Management appears to be here to stay so ensure your feeding program minimizes your farms potential for pollution. By Michael Steele, B.Sc., M.Sc., Dairy Nutritionist, Masterfeeds
to account for 13% of the total GHG emissions in national agriculture. Since Canada plans to honour its climate change commitment described in the Kyoto protocol, dairy farm management practices will have to change in the future. North American research has indicated that 60-75% of Nitrogen imported into dairy operations never leaves as exported milk or meat. Feed imports account for 45-80% of total nitrogen imports. Accurately feeding a ration formulated using software designed to increase the efficiency of nitrogen use and microbial protein synthesis in the rumen is essential to increase your whole-farm nitrogen efficiency. It has been demonstrated in computer simulations and in field research that most farms can decrease their yearly nitrogen excretion by 50lbs/cow, which would significantly decrease the total area required to spread manure. Phosphorous Phosphorous has received a great deal of attention over the last decade because manure with excessive phosphorous spread to fields can cause phosphorous to enter surface water and permanently damage natural habitat. Ironically, Phosphorous is the most expensive mineral to supplement in a dairy feed program costing 20-50% of the total mineral bill. According to the NRC and recently published research data, milk production and reproductive performance will not be compromised if the total diet dry matter contains between 0.34 – 0.40% phosphorous. If the phosphorous in a diet fed to a 100 cow milking herd is reduced by 0.05% the phosphorous present in the manure will be reduced by almost 1000 lbs/year. This reduction in wasted phosphorous has major environmental and economic benefits. In conclusion, fine-tuning your nutrition program will significantly reduce the Nitrogen and Phosphorous losses and increase your whole-farm nutrient efficiency. Ask your Masterfeeds Dairy Specialist about methods to improve efficiency of nutrient utilization on your farm by optimizing your wholefarm nitrogen and phosphorous balance through good nutrition.


Spring 2006

Forages are the foundation of a nutritionally sound, economical and rumen-healthy dairy ration. Forage quality is directly related to potential milk production, purchased feed costs and overall dairy nutrient balance. The production and use of forages on your dairy require a total system approach integrating crop production, harvest management, storage management and the feeding program.

1020 Hargrieve Rd., London, Ontario N6E 1P5

What Cows want in forages, they can give you Want If you give your cows what they
what you want in production and longevity.
By Dr. Larry Chase Dr. Larry Chase is a Dairy Nutritionist in the department of Animal Science at Cornell University.
of NDF from forage. If your forage averages 40% NDF, this is 31 to 35 pounds of forage DM. But if your forages are 50% NDF, you’d feed 25 to 28 pounds of forage DM. Other helpful values on forage test reports include lignin, crude protein (CP), soluble protein and ash content. Starch content should be at 30 to 35% for good quality corn silage. NDF digestibility (NDFD) is an important monitoring parameter to evaluate potential yearly effects on forages. It looks like NDFD in 2005 first cutting alfalfa is running five to 10 units higher than the 2004 samples. This indicates an opportunity to feed more forage and less grain to hit the same level of milk production. Michigan State University research indicates that a one-unit increase in NDFD was related to an increase of 0.37 pounds of DMI and 0.51 pounds of milk. You can feed higher levels of forage. Many Northeast herds feed greater than 55% of their total ration DM as forage and ship 75 to 85 pounds of milk per day. Many of these herds meet or exceed 1% forage-NDF as a percent of BW. They are likely to see decreased purchased feed costs, improved milk components and better rumen health, to name a few benefits. But there are challenges: Feeding higher forage rations increases the importance of consistent forage quality. And it can increase your yearly forage needs by 20 to 30%. You may need to alter cropping practices and rotations to produce the quantities of forage required.

Masterfeeds acquires DACO LABORATORIES in Ontario and Quebec
On, February 20th, 2006, Masterfeeds Inc. announced that it acquired the assets of DACO LABORATORIES LTD., a manufacturer and marketer of animal nutrition premixes. With operations in Stratford, Ontario and Waterloo, Quebec, DACO supplies on-farm feed premixes to livestock producers throughout eastern Canada. Rob Flack, President & CEO of Masterfeeds Inc., states, “DACO LABORATORIES strengthens our market position in southwestern Ontario and provides us with a solid entry into the Quebec feed industry. DACO has an excellent reputation among livestock feeders and complements our business with a strong platform in the on-farm premix sector. This acquisition is consistent with our growth strategy to expand in core livestock and poultry markets throughout Canada”. “The Davis family is pleased to have completed the sale of DACO to Masterfeeds as their commitment to the Canadian feed industry is well known and their desire to invest in and grow the business will benefit both our employees and customers,” explains Wayne Davis, General Manager, DACO LABORATORIES LTD. who will be staying with the company as a senior manager of the business. DACO LABORATORIES LTD. was founded by Ron Davis in 1968 in London, Ontario and expanded throughout Canada and the United States in the animal nutrition, feed ingredient and soil analysis, and the swine genetics businesses. In conclusion, Masterfeeds and now DACO Animal Nutrition have a proud tradition of innovation, customer/dealer service and profitable growth. We are fortunate that our owner, Ag Processing Inc., continues to support our strategic plan of investing in the core regions of Canadian animal agriculture.

Phase One Dry Cow Premix PLUS
A palatable dry cow premix containing organic selenium tailored to: • Minimize Calving Problems • Maximize Vitality of New-Borne Offspring

What do your cows want from your forage management system? A consistent supply of a palatable, high quality and highly digestible forage. Sounds like a simple request. Quality Defined: The definition of forage quality needs to include four factors: palatability, nutrient content, digestibility and dry matter intake (DMI). All of these tend to increase with improved forage quality. The first forage quality value to examine on forage test lab reports is neutral detergent fiber (NDF). It’s the best predictor of potential forage intake (See NDF guidelines in Table 1 below). NDF is also a valuable tool to determine the quantity of forage you could include in your ration. In research trials, cows have consumed more than 1.2% of their body weight (BW) as forage NDF. Dairy cows on a well-managed, rotational pasture will often consume more than 1.3% of their BW as forage NDF. Start with this goal in formulating rations: Set forage NDF intake at 0.9 to 1% of BW. For a 1,400-pound Holstein, you would want 12.6 to 14 pounds

Table 1. Forage Quality Guidelines Forage NDF % NDFD % Alfalfa 39-44 47.9 Grass 50-55 61.1 Corn Silage 40-45 49.0

Starch 30-35

*NDFD values are from samples run by the Dairy One Forage Lab between 5/04 and 4/05. These are the average results from 30-hour in vitro analyses on silage samples.
Article re-printed with permission from the NorthEast Dairy Business Magazine.

Johne’s Disease: A Producer’s Perspective
By Doug Armstrong, Dairy Herd Management, Masterfeeds
Since 1999 I have been involved from a management standpoint with an 830 cow New York State dairy. For the past seven years we have been working under New York State Cattle Health Assurance Program (NYSCHAP) to not only control but eradicate Johne’s Disease (JD) from this herd. Over this time, the herd has experienced a lot of trial and error and has struggled with false information and beliefs about JD. Here is a look at our ongoing battle against a disease that costs the North American dairy industry millions of dollars each year. Management of Johne’s Disease In this herd, pregnant cattle are placed in individual calving pens and calves are removed immediately from the dam at birth to a separate calf nursery. Colostrum is harvested from known negative JD cows, stored and used for all calves. After being fed colostrum, milk replacer is fed for 54 days and calves are moved to a quarantine transition group for one month before being moved to the heifer palace where they are introduced to a TMR. A study was conducted in the herd using a control group with normal management procedures and a test group which received a booster pack in place of colostrum. Interestingly, the animals that received no colostrum had a lower incidence of all disease in the herd vs herdmates. We went one step further and added another experimental group receiving no colostrum and no vaccination program and surprisingly these animals had a lower incidence of disease compared to herd mates. The cows were originally tested for JD by blood Elisa, however the accuracy of the test was in question. A decision to discontinue blood sampling was made by NYSCHAP and since that time all JD detection has been conducted using fecal matter. Fecal samples are gathered from all cows at 140 -147 days in pregnancy. Preliminary JD fecal results take 2 weeks and the final results are presented one month after sampling. All confirmed highly positive JD cows are sold immediately and low positive cows are kept in a separate JD group. No heifer calves from JD positive cows are kept and are sold at the local sales yard through a beef ring. Strict biosecurity with calves has been followed and any replacements that were purchased were from herds with detailed health records. A new calf facility was constructed in 2000 and they are now sufficient in internal herd growth thereby eliminating the need to buy any replacements. Status of Johne’s in Herd The number of JD cows in the herd has continually decreased since the time the NYSCHAP program was introduced, and even through the tough times of low milk prices when every pound of milk mattered there was continual culling. The thought that JD cows become low producers is also myth as many positive cows that were top producers were culled. The farm has continued to sell JD infected cattle immediately after being confirmed positive. We had budgeted for 24 Johne’s cows (3% of herd) to be culled over 2005 but the number was actually 62 (7% of herd). What is troubling is 48% of cows positive for JD in 2005 were first lactation which is a new trend as past positives had been second lactation and greater. The first lactation positives were home grown which leads to the question; what has gone wrong in our program? We evaluated all of our management regimes in combination with reviewing current JD research to answer this question. Research conducted by Dr. Bill Stone of Cornell Department of Animal Science has indicated that JD bacteria will survive in hay meadows if manure is spread after first cut. Likewise, this would be prevalent in a pasture situation and we feel this could be the source of JD infections. According to management records, all heifers born before November 15, 2003 were raised on pasture at one point of their life. We are currently conducting and evaluation comparing the incidence of JD with animals raised before and after November 15th, 2003 to test this hypothesis. Helpful Advice JD is believed to show more symptoms in periods of stress like calving. Many cows will loose condition excessively within a couple of weeks of calving. These cows will have normal appetite and milk production, but their manure will be extremely loose. Others will develop a lump under the jaw and others will look perfectly normal and will continue to do well in the herd. But let’s not forget the risk they create for the rest of the herd. Culling is still the best option for this category of cattle. If you don’t have a strict biosecurity program on your farm you have already lost the battle against JD. Locating young stock away from farm traffic and keeping all unauthorized visitors away from your dairy is imperative. Many producers believe JD is not a big problem in Canada. Of interest I worked with a herd in Northern New York in 1999 that had purchase 18 Canadian cows from one herd. When Johne’s test results of these animals came back, 6 were confirmed highly positive. In short if you allow visitors around your young stock, show cattle or purchase animals, you likely have Johne’s in your herd.
A picture of a thickened intestinal mucosa of a cow with Johne’s Disease (top) compared to a intestinal mucosa of a healthy cow (bottom).

Master Producer: Hendercroft Holsteins
Herb and Darlene Henderson and Family
By Mark Schokking, General Manager, Lanark-Leeds Distributors - Masterfeeds Dealer Smiths Falls, ON Herb and Darlene Henderson operate a 50-cow holstein operation in Ashton, Ontario. The Hendersons are long-term Masterfeeds’ customers who work closely with Masterfeeds’ dealer Lanark-Leeds Distributors. In 1986, Herb decided to start breeding 100% registered cattle. Since then, the Hendercroft prefix has been on the name of 127 VG and 20 EX cattle and has become well known among the elite show cattle of the breed. During the last five years, the Henderson’s impressive list of accomplishments include: - 2001 Master Breeder Shield - 2001 Premier Breeder Award EOWQ Championship Show - 2005 Premier Breeder Award EOWQ Championship Show - 5 All-Canadian nominations Hendercroft’s dairy feeding program consists of baylage, corn silage, mixed grain, and a texturized custom supplement. Program performance and cost are evaluated regularly to discover potential improvements. Lanark-Leeds regularly monitors herd milk components and provides a monthly feeding chart along with feed cart settings. Herb Henderson challenges the technical advisors of Lanark-Leeds Distributors to provide their farm with the most cutting-edge information to make profitable nutrition and management decisions. With the guidance of the service staff of Lanark-Leeds, Herb has successfully introduced many nutritional technologies. He remarks, “We like the personalized service and appreciate the pride that the people at Lanark-Leeds Distributors take in our accomplishments at Hendercroft”. A strong passion for working with purebred cattle has made Hendercroft Holsteins a hot-spot for cattle buyers and Holstein enthusiasts. Hendercroft’s breeding program philosophy includes careful examination of bull proofs from a variety of bloodlines. Herb tries to see as many daughters of the bulls he is interested in as possible in order to develop a better assessment of the breeding capabilities of specific bulls.

Left to Right: Allan Earle, LanarkLeeds Distributors, Herb Henderson, Hendercroft Holsteins, Mark Schokking, Lanark-Leeds Distributors.

Herb Henderson believes in the philosophy of “No guts, no glory!” which coincides with his admirable work ethic in pursuit of cow excellence. He supports his local community with activities that include dairy judging as well as Hendercroft Outside Speranza leading 4-H clubs and Holstein Associations. One great example of popuMasterfeeds congratulates Hendercroft Hol- lar purebred cattle with the steins for a job well done and wish them con- Hendercroft prefix. tinued success in their bright future.

Transition Vitamin Pak
Your source of Rumen Protected Vitamins
By Michael Steele B.Sc., M.Sc., Dairy Nutritionist, Masterfeeds During the transition to lactation, the high producing dairy cow experiences a dramatic increase in the requirement of several key nutrients. For example, the day of parturition marks a fourfold increase in the demand for Calcium. Even more alarming is the combined tripling in the demand for glucose, doubling in the demand for amino acids and a fivefold increase in the demand for fatty acids from day 250 of gestation to day 4 Post-partum. Overcoming these obstacles while maintaining a healthy transition period is vitally important for the production and profitability of your herd. The diseases and disorders of the Transition dairy cow include: • Ketosis - metabolic • Mastitis - infectious • Fatty liver - metabolic • Retained placenta – metabolic and immunity • Metritis - infectious • Laminitis - metabolic with microbial origins • Milk fever - metabolic • Acidosis - metabolic • Displaced abomasum - metabolic To help prevent metabolic and infectious disease during Transition, Masterfeeds has developed the Transition Vitamin Pak. The Transition Vitamin Pak contains VICOMB™ which is a source of rumen protected Choline, Folic Acid, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin E. All six vitamins are protected from rumen degradation by a vegetable matrix to maximize the amount of available vitamins for your transition cow. Each vitamin plays a critical role in the prevention of metabolic or infectious disease during transition.
Choline: Promotes fat mobilization in the liver to reduce the risk of sub-clinical or clinical ketosis. Folic Acid: Essential for protein metabolism, cell division and growth. Riboflavin: Required for the metabolism of amino acids, carbohydrates and fatty acids. Vitamin A: Stimulates the immune system and enhances reproduction. Vitamin D: Vital for the efficient utilization of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin E: Protects cell membranes from oxidative stress to improve immunity and reproductive function.

For more information on Masterfeeds Dairy Programs or on any of these articles contact your local Masterfeeds representative.
Doug Armstrong (705) 875-4783 Rheal Brabant (819) 629-9501 Gary Grubb (519) 881-7929 John Hoskin (519) 801-5188 Roger Laflèche (613) 227-2358 Daryl Taylor (705) 768-2730

A recent on farm trial in Ontario demonstrated three key results from feeding our rumen protected vitamin product;
1) Increased Pre-Calving Dry Matter Intakes •13% increase. 2) Reduced Incidence of Metabolic Diseases and PostCalving Mastitis. • Significant reduction in blood ketone levels and incidence of mastitis. 3) Improved Reproductive Performance. • Significant increase in number of cattle being bred before 100 days.

Improve your calves’ gut health with

Partners in Management

Or visit us at
Ask your Masterfeeds representative about BMS, the water soluble form of Bio-Mos from Alltech.

• The Masterfeeds Dairy Transition Vitamin Pak is ideal for both TMR and top-dressing. • Feed 250 grams of Transition Vitamin Pak 21 days pre-calving and 500 grams for 14 days post-calving. • Make sure to take care of the transition cow so she can take care of herself throughout the entire lactation. Ask your Masterfeeds Dairy Specialist about adding our Transition Vitamin Pak to your transition cow program.

(Grootendorst, 2003)

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