Transition management has a great impact on Lifetime Daily Yield, but more is needed.
The amount of milk a cow produces per day of life, otherwise known as the Lifetime Daily Yield (LDY) is the most commonly used parameter to measure performance of dairy farms1,2. In most countries, a farm starts to become profitable if LDY is above 15 kg/milk/cow/day86.
Transition management has a great impact on LDY, but simply improving transition management will not always be sufficient to make a farm profitable.
The first 30-60 days in lactation are the most critical for dairy performance
Firstly, good transition management should not only aim at increasing the amount of milk produced. Measures to improve rumen function and fermentation should result in a maximum amount of milk fat produced, whereas measures to increase energy supply to the udder should result in a maximum amount of milk protein produced.
The most critical phase for both aforementioned parameters are the first 30-60 days in lactation. Diet, feed management, barn management, management of health and the correct use of supplements in the period before and immediately after calving should ensure the optimal amount of energy corrected milk is being produced.
Maximising silage palatability while avoiding loss of nutritional value
Beyond 30-60 days into lactation, the most important factor to influence performance of dairy cows is quality of the roughage fed. In case of grass silage, haylage or corn silage, quality can be influenced at harvesting but also at feeding when TMR is being prepared.
Ensuring milk quality meets ever increasing standards
Milk quality is increasingly becoming important. Traditionally, somatic cell count has been a very common quality parameter, with a potential negative impact on milk price if too high.
More recently, the potential presence of aflatoxins has become an issue. Incorrect preservation of silage can result in exposure of dairy cows to mycotoxins. Some of these mycotoxins cause problems in cows after exposure. Cows are relatively resistant to the effects of aflatoxins. Exposure of humans to aflatoxins can however cause health issues. The EU has stricter regulations than the US regarding allowable aflatoxin concentrations in milk for human consumption. According to EU legislation, aflatoxin level in milk must be below 50 ng/kg in milk, whereas 500 ng/kg is acceptable for the US authorities84.
Lastly, concerns about a possible correlation between Johne’s disease in dairy cows and Crohn’s disease in humans have resulted in increased concerns about contamination of milk with Mycobacterium para-tuberculosis (MAP)85.
More about dairy performance
Learn more about increasing milk solids in dairy cows
Making sustainable dairy farming profitable
Science-based solutions for optimum dairy performance
Adding Selko LactiBute to the ratio increases milk production while increasing fat and protein levels at the same time. This results in an increase of Energy Corrected Milk of 0.85-1 kg per head per day.
IntelliBond’s increased bioavailability and the positive impact on fibre digestion and gut barrier function support well-being and optimizes animal productivity of dairy cows.
SELKO TOXO & TOXO-XL
Selko TOXO® is a mycotoxin mitigation product that contains bentonite, which has strong binding capacity for aflatoxins, ergot toxines and LPS, in combination with glucose biopolymers which maintain gut tight junctions to reduce the translocation of mycotoxins into blood stream. Selko TOXO-XL® combines this with purified β-glucans that improve the immune function of dairy cows.
Selko TMR® is a blend of organic acids that reduces the growth of yeasts, moulds and bacteria such as Enterobacteriaceae like Salmonella. As a result of the reduction in growth of micro-organisms, increases in temperature of the TMR are delayed by at least 6 hours in silages treated with Selko-TMR, resulting in a higher dry matter intake.
Even the best heat stress control programme cannot always fully prevent problems with heat stress in dairy cows. Supplementation with Selko NutriCool can help to avoid a drop in dry matter intake and loss of milk production as a result of heat stress.
Farm-O-San Glucolac 40 Plus provides glucogenic energy and reduces the risk of subclinical or clinical ketosis in dairy cows.
Farm-O-San Reviva is a highly palatable post calving drink for dairy cows, with large amounts of energy and calcium. It reduces the risk of hypocalcaemia and milk fever in dairy cows.