Top 5 trends in dairy production
The Sollio Agriculture team is always monitoring the latest developments in dairy production. Every year, experts review studies and talk with researchers around the world to learn about the latest trends. They convey this knowledge to agri-advisors, who then pass it on to you and others on the ground. In this article, which is part of our “Dairy Innovation” series, we present the 2021 feeding trends.
1. Data management
In 2021, those who pay attention to the numbers will come out on top. At least this is what the experts at Sollio Agriculture are saying. When we have too much data to sift through, we end up getting lost. Using advanced software, we are able to separate out the key information.
The feed software used by the agri-advisors takes many factors into account. For example, we don’t focus exclusively on proteins and fibres but also analyze amino acids and types of fat. Using this information, we’re able to provide better recommendations.
Experts have observed that antioxidants have become increasingly popular in the dairy industry over the past year. We have known for many years now that certain antioxidants are beneficial to humans. It’s the same for ruminants. When added to a cow’s rations, polyphenols help to strengthen the animal’s immune system prior to calving. Cows experience a great deal of bodily stress when giving birth. Polyphenols help keep cows healthy when calving and ensure that they maintain good production levels.
There are several studies underway that assess the benefits of administering polyphenols to calves. These micronutrients may help calves stay healthy when they are young, before they build up a strong immune system.
3. Mannan oligosaccharides (MOS)
Increasingly, these complex sugars are being added to calf feed to strengthen the animal’s digestive system. Ruminants are born without an immune system, so MOS gives them a boost as they begin to build up their natural defences.
MOS trap harmful bacteria such as coliforms, thereby preventing them from attaching to the gut wall. The bacteria binds to the sugar and is expelled via the digestive tract. MOS has been used for calves for many years now, but more and more farmers are using them for their dairy cows. They help prevent production decreases resulting from dysentery, which frequently afflicts cows in the spring and fall.
4. Mineral licks with plant extract
Licking this new mineral lick formula allows cows to ingest plant extracts that get absorbed into the blood. This causes the animals’ skin pores to release substances that repel flies. Because they are bothered by fewer flies and experience less stress, the cows enjoy better health. Currently, mineral licks are used primarily in beef production. However, experts expect them to become more widely used in dairy production.
5. One cube equals one ration
The advantage of using a formula like Totalveau is that you can meet all the dietary needs of calves aged zero to six months with a single cube. This is a simple solution for preventing calves from sorting food and it’s cost-effective when feed is expensive.
Recently, several companies have looked to innovate in this area, with formulas consisting of cubes and chopped straw. It is important to be careful about such products because It’s no longer a complete meal. It increases the likelihood of sorting behaviors and, ultimately, digestive problems.
To find out which innovations can benefit your farm, speak with an agri-advisor in your area.