December 2017 Newsletter - #71
In This Issue
About Us
The Dairy One Forage Lab excels in providing high quality analyses  
and customer service. Our goal is to provide analytical services designed to meet the expanding demands of modern agriculture.  
New technology and traditional methods are combined to deliver fast, accurate results.
Fiber Digestibility and its effect on Milk Production
Sarah Fessenden,BS, PAS Forage Tech Support and Sales Specialist

As more information becomes available, ration balancing is becoming more precise. Using AMTS (ration software based on CNCPS 6.5 biology) we looked at the differences in metabolizable energy (ME) and metabolizable protein (MP) allowable milk based on digestibility time points in three different quality grass hays. ME and MP allowable milk are estimates of potential milk production based on the amounts of energy and protein supplied by the diet. Table 1. shows values for forages and Table 2. the digestibility curves on the forages.
Low Quality 
Medium Quality 
High Quality 
CP (%DM)  5.4  10.3  16.8 
ADIP (%CP)  9.26  15.53  6.55 
NDIP (%CP)  25.93  40.78 
Sugar (%DM)  8.1  4.4  7.2 
ADF (%DM)  40.5  38.5  31.1 
aNDFom (%DM)  62.1  60.6  50.5 
Lignin (%NDF)  8.05  9.08  8.71 
Table 1. Nutrient profiles of grass hays

Table 2. Digestibility curves
A simple diet (dry matter basis) was formulated with 20.6 lbs. corn silage, 8.2 lbs. of grass hay, 9.2 lbs. corn grain, 5.1 lbs. distillers, 5.6 lbs. soybean meal, .25 lbs. salt, .1 lbs. magnesium oxide, and 1.25 lbs. MinVit. Table 3. shows the ME and MP allowable milk using no time points, just the 30 hour, and then with 30, 120, and 240 hour NDF digestibilities. Daily production data was 82 lbs. milk/cow, 3.7% butterfat and 3.1% protein. Remember that the ME and MP allowable are only predictions.
Table 3. Allowable milk (lbs./cow/day) with timepoints across three hay qualities
As expected, the low-quality grass hay underperformed no matter the time points used. An approach used by several models and nutritionists is to use only the 30hr time point. With the medium and the high quality hays, the 30hr showed no difference from the diet without any time points. Employing multiple time points, however, showed a significant reduction in predicted milk when the medium quality hay was fed. Taking this into account, reformulating with additional corn silage and less hay would improve production. When considering your ration formulation and characterizing your feeds, it is important to know as much about the feed as possible.
Did you Know?
Dairy One's PregCheck laboratory was established in March 2013. Using ELISA technology, the laboratory can determine the pregnancy status of bovines with 98% or greater accuracy. The ability to test blood as well as milk gives customers greater flexibility when integrating these tests into their herd management procedures. The DG29 blood pregnancy test was developed by Conception Animal Reproduction Technologies, and allows a cow to be tested at only 29 days post breeding and 90 days post calving. This test can also be used for pregnancy detection in goats and sheep. Blood samples from eligible cows may be submitted using either full test kits or tube only kits supplied by Dairy One.  
The milk pregnancy test was developed by IDEXX Laboratories, one of the world's leading diagnostic testing manufacturers. The use of milk as a medium for pregnancy testing has allowed customers to receive more data from the samples they are already submitting for component testing. While most of the milk pregnancy samples that the laboratory receives are sampled during regular component testing intervals, samples can be submitted at any time by ordering a milk pregnancy test kit from Dairy One's Supply Department. Cows can be tested as early as 28 days post breeding and 60 days post calving.
If interested please contact the Animal Health Diagnostic lab at 1 (800) 334-2697 ext. 2056 or
Paul Sirois, MS, PAS - Lab Manager

As many of you have probably heard by now, I'm retiring at the end of this year. It's been a fun ride over the last 30 years and I'm going to miss all the friends, customers, colleagues and supporters that I've had the opportunity to get to know and work with. Our sample volume has grown over 5X during this period and is global in scale. We appreciate every sample that you've sent our way and we will continue to meet your analytical needs. Our Customer Support group is here to assist you with questions, services and insuring that you get the most for your analytical dollar. The Lab Staff continues to pound samples out of the door. The NIR Affiliate staff serves and meets the diverse needs of our ever expanding Affiliate Network. And, as I exit, the next generation is already on board and making significant contributions to our efforts (see 11/2017 newsletter)!
Thanks again for all of your friendship and support!
Upcoming Events - Come see us!
January 15-17, 2018
Georgia Dairy Producer's Conference 
Savannah, Georgia  
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Dairy One - Forage Laboratory
730 Warren Road ~ Ithaca, NY ~ 14850
Phone:  1-800-344-2697 Ext. 9962