Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dairy Farmer's Pantry

Our dairy cows rely on us to provide plenty of good feed every day so they can produce high quality milk. Because feed costs are the largest expense on the dairy farm, we're always carefully shopping for the best deals in grain and hay purchases. We rely on grain farmers,hay farmers,feed companies and the trucking industry to help us feed our dairy cows. When we receive grain or grain products, it is unloaded into the farm's kitchen pantry known as the commodity storage shed.

We rely on our dairy nutritionist to formulate a balanced and nutritious diet with the combination of grain and hay that we have availiable. Each of our cows will eat approximately 90 pounds of hay and grain that is mixed together for what is known as a total mixed ration. Providing a balanced diet is important to the cow's health and producing high-quality milk. Watching the cows eat in the feed barn is one of my favorite places on the farm. I love to see them bury their nose in the feed,take a bite,and then lift their head as though they were just coming to the surface after a dive in the pool!

Since 1944, improvements in dairy cattle nutrition and dairy science have played an important role in reducing the environmental impact of a gallon of milk that has resulted in:
  • 90 percent less cropland
  • 75 percent less manure
  • 65 percent less water
  • 63 percent less carbon
You can find more facts and  information about dairy production or dairy sustainability  at http://www.midwestdairy.com or http://www.dairyfarmingtoday.org.


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