Fernando Díaz, Dairy Knowledge Center’s director, offered two presentations in the V FEDNA-ANEMBE Seminar about dairy cattle nutrition.

Brookings (SD, United States) 11/15/2019.- The V FEDNA-ANEMBE Seminar about ruminants’ nutrition, celebrated the past November 6th in Madrid (Spain) counted with the participation of Fernando Díaz, Dairy Knowledge Center’s director and dairy consultant at Rosecrans Dairy Consulting, who gave the lectures “Feeding in robotic milking dairies” and “Usage of feed additives in dairy cattle on the United States” to an audience of 350 attendees.

The seminar, which was presented by Joaquín Ranz Vallejo (ANEMBE’s president), included the participation of other remarkable specialists in cattle nutrition, as Adolfo Álvarez Aranguiz, Sergio Calsamiglia, Diego Martínez, Arturo Gómez, Ángel Ávila Coya, Nuria Llanes and Octavio Catalán.

How robotic milking improves performance on dairy farms?

During his first presentation, Fernando Díaz explained the influence that the implementation of robotic milking has over the dairy farms’ performance, and the appropriate manner to initiate these systems so they can result cost-effective. He pointed out that the principal problem on robotic milking units, which there are around 35,000 functioning worldwide, is attracting cows voluntarily to be milked. On average, 8% of the cows must be fetched to the robots, and dairy workers spend 51 minutes per day per robot fetching cows.

The concentrate supplied in the milking robot must meet three conditions:

  1. Be palatable, so it attracts the cows.
  2. Have an appropriate presentation form, to maximize intake and diminish refused feed.
  3. In combination with the ration supplied in the feedbunk, must provide the necessary nutrients to guarantee production of milk and milk components.

Effects of feed additives used in dairy cattle in the United States

The second presentation of the Dairy Knowledge Center’s director was centered in evaluating the additives more frequently used in diets that can improve milk and milk components production in high-production cows. As Díaz explained, the strategic utilization of additives that stimulate efficiently the production of milk fat and milk protein can increase dairy farm profitability.

This lecture detailly explained how feed additives can enhance the production performance of dairy cattle and, therefore, the income over feed cost. Nonetheless, Díaz pointed out that in some occasions feed additives do not affect productive response of the animals nor improve profitability of dairy farms. The feeding strategy implemented at the dairy must always be adapted to the market situation so, this way, the income by liter of milk produced can be maximized.