“While the actual DCAD equation can be easy to calculate, taking the information and putting it into practice can be more difficult for dairy nutritionists and their producer clients,” explains Dr. Elliot Block, senior manager, technology with Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition. “The new DCAD calculator helps to turn a feed analysis into applicable information to help make accurate ration formulation decisions.”
The DCAD calculator allows users to input the levels of four macrominerals—sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur—which are commonly found in feeds and used to calculate ration DCAD.
“The DCAD calculator helps identify current ration DCAD levels and provides a better understanding of why certain levels are critical during each stage of lactation,” explains Dr. Block. “Since the nutrients of feeds and forages can change from one load to the next, routinely calculating ration DCAD can help ensure cows remain healthy and perform to their potential.”
DCAD balancing is backed by extensive university trials and on-farm research¹. Feeding
BIO-CHLOR® Rumen Fermentation Enhancer to safely lower DCAD levels to -8 to -12 meq/100g ration dry matter prior to calving can help maintain dry matter intake, reduce incidence of metabolic disorders and boost early lactation milk production. Once a cow calves, boosting DCAD levels to +35 to +45 meq/100g ration dry matter with DCAD Plus® Feed Grade Potassium Carbonate helps to increase intake, leading to greater milk and component production.
To utilize the DCAD calculator and learn more about the importance of balancing rations for DCAD, visit www.AHDairy.com.
1 Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition. DCAD Nutrition for Dairy Cattle Research Summary. PC 2063-1003, 2010.