Cost savings in dairy operations to be theme of Nov. 12 field day

Michael E. McCormick, Benedict, Linda F.  |  10/31/2008 8:58:31 PM

News Release Distributed 10/31/08

Feeding cows for optimum performance is the theme of this year’s field day at the LSU AgCenter’s Southeast Research Station near Franklinton, La., on Nov. 12.

“Dairy and beef producers are being hurt by the high costs of feed, fertilizer and fuel,” said Mike McCormick, research coordinator at the station. “It is imperative for producers to grow high-quality forages and feed optimum levels of nutrients. Otherwise, lactation performance will suffer and fertility will be severely compromised.”

The field day will include tours of the research plots and presentations from scientists, including introductory remarks from Dr. Mike Strain, Commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

Topics to be covered include phosphorus efficiency and baleage crops versus corn silage crops in milk cow diets. In addition, Kun-Jun Han, assistant professor at the station, will present results from his research on clover as a cost-saving way to add nitrogen in pastures.

Other speakers include Charlie Hutchison, LSU AgCenter dairy specialist, on the use of feed additives for optimum dairy nutrition and Bill Herndon, an agricultural economist from Mississippi State University, on milk and feed commodity price outlooks.

The Southeast Station is the home of the LSU AgCenter’s Forage Quality Laboratory, where dairy and beef producers from both Louisiana and Mississippi can have their hay and feed analyzed.

“Feeding costs are often among the largest expenses for livestock producers,” McCormick said. “Accurate feed analyses allow for diets more precisely balanced to meet animal requirements, which improves animal performance, increases profitability of the operation and, ultimately, reduces nutrient loads to the environment.”

Registration starts at 9 a.m. Following lunch, participants will be invited to demonstrations of the latest dairy feeding equipment, McCormick said.

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Contact: Mike McCormick at (985) 839-2322, or memccormick@agcenter.lsu.edu

Writer: Linda Foster Benedict at (225) 578-2937, or lbenedict@agcenter.lsu.edu

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