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Less to Haul Reduce manure output

November 10, 2008

Higher milk production usually comes from increased dry matter intake, which, in turn, increases manure output. But you can reduce lagoon loads without sacrificing milk production, says Bill Weiss, a dairy nutrition specialist with Ohio State University.
  • Increase the concentration of corn silage and decrease hay crop forage in your total mixed ration (TMR). "A 10 percentage unit increase in corn silage (as a percentage of forage) decreases manure output about 4 lb./cow/day,” Weiss says.
  • A 1% increase in protein can increase manure output 2 lb./cow/day. Ensure adequate protein for the production level of your group, but don't offer protein in excess.
  • A highly digestible ration reduces manure production. "A percentage unit increase in neutral detergent fiber concentration increases manure output 0.5 to 1 lb./cow/day,” Weiss says. Harvest and feed hay crop forage at an immature state and grow highly digestible corn hybrids for silage.

Weiss also notes that dry cows and replacement heifers produce a fourth of the manure on a typical dairy. Moving these animals to another site can reduce your lagoon load, and possibly hauling costs as well.

Limit-feeding heifers can reduce manure output 10% to 20%. On a whole-farm basis, however, that figure would probably be less than 5%.

Bonus content:

  • Click here to read more detail on reducing manure output.


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FEATURED IN: Dairy Today - November 2008
RELATED TOPICS: Dairy, Follow the Dot

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