Greater Profits with Greater Components
Improvements in milk component production have the ability to generate more revenue for the dairy. The sample calculation below illustrates the potential financial benefits realized through increased component levels. Based on component production improvements Herd B has the ability generate greater revenue from the same volume of milk.
Don’t Leave Profits on the Table
Maximizing fat and protein levels can ensure maximum profit potential. The ration is one of the best tools to quickly realize component improvements. Use these tips to help maximize components and, ultimately, profits in your herd:
- Measure profit potential with IOFC. Producers can increase profits through components. Making the most of your components may mean a greater initial investment in your ration. Rather than focusing on the higher feed costs alone, it’s important to measure the potential profit a ration change can generate through Income Over Feed Cost (IOFC), which accounts for the revenue generated over the feed investment cost.
- Balance rations for DCAD and potassium levels. Research¹ has shown that feeding Stabilized Potassium Carbonate and raising ration dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) and potassium levels can increase milk fat production in a short period of time. The research found cows fed DCAD Plus produced an additional 0.35% (+0.20 kg.) fat per cow per day, as outlined in Chart 1.
- Deliver limiting amino acids for increased protein production. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and when delivered at optimal levels, component and milk production can be enhanced. Delivering the two most limiting amino acids—lysine and methionine—in a rumen bypass form helps ensure optimized component production.
- Test forages frequently. Forage testing measures many important values, including the four macrominerals included in the DCAD equation—sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur. Because of variability issues, forages can be different from one year or one load to the next.
- Feed high-quality forages. Adding forage to the ration can prevent feeds from quickly passing through the rumen and allow for proper and complete breakdown by rumen bugs to boost volatile fatty acid (VFA) levels. Higher VFA production can translate to greater milk fat in your bulk tank.
- Consult your nutritionist. As crops and ration ingredients vary, your nutritionist can provide solutions to increase and maintain milk component levels utilizing the feeds you have available.
All dairy producers are focused on getting the most from their inputs. By delivering the nutrients cows need, performance and profits can be maximized through both milk and component production.
1 White R, Harrison J, Kincaid R, Block E, St-Pierre N. Effectiveness of potassium bicarbonate to increase dietary cation-anion difference in early lactation cows. J Anim Sci Vol. 86, E-Suppl. 2/J Dairy Sci 2008;91:Abstr.106.