by Paul Dyk, Regional Sale Manager and Dairy Technical Services Manager
Background. In recent years, many farms have implemented a Goldilocks and acidified diet in their prefresh diets. The goldilocks diet is a bulky high forage diet that often utilizes straw or hay with corn silage as a base. This combination gets the energy to the “just right” level while keeping the DCAD in line in the diet. At the same time, many producers have been acidifying diets with anionic salts; fully acidified diets with a DCAD of -10 to -15 has been the goal of many high producing herds.
The Challenge. Consistency and Intake. While everything might look good on paper, combining a bulky diet with anionic salts has been a challenge. First, many of these bulky diets, even when processed correctly, tend to be sortable. Not all animals receive the same diet as cows sort through the diet for their favorite ingredients. Second, many anionic salt sources are less than palatable and cows tend to sort against them.
A Solution. A palatable liquid DCAD product that reduces sorting, increases palatability and targets fully acidified diets. In the summer of 2019, field trials with QLF DCAD JumpStart were conducted on two large dairies to measure the efficacy in targeting urine pH and improving cow performance. In the field trial in WI where no commercial DCAD product was currently being used, JumpStart was effective in lowering urine pH to the target range of 5.5 to 6 (see Graph 1). This included 4.5 lb feed rate of JumpStart with over 450 individual urine pH sampling points. In the field trial in IA where a commercial dry DCAD product was being used, Jumpstart at 3.6 lbs as fed, maintained the urine pH in the 5.5 to 6.0 zone and reduced sorting.
WI Field Trial
IA Field Trial
Where to get more info? More info can be found on QLF Liquid DCAD products as well as a longer summary of the field trials in WI and IA with JumpStart can be found here. As with all prefresh nutrition programs, a certified nutritionist is recommended to balance the nutritional requirements of this group. Contract your local QLF rep for more info on QLF liquid DCAD products.