Optimal Mineral Nutrition:
Improved Cow Longevity, Increased Dairy Profitability

There’s been a great deal of focus on the efficiency of dairies to ensure optimum profitability. Now experts have focused more closely on improved longevity of the herd as a major opportunity for producers to further increase profitability.

Mastitis, reproductive performance, lameness, and disease challenges are all key reasons why producers must cull a cow, many times before the cow reaches peak lactation. However, by looking at mineral nutrition to address issues that lead to early culling, producers can see the economic advantages of longevity.

There already is much published research supporting the benefits of enhanced mineral nutrition in dairy production. Minerals such as selenium (Se), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) all have important roles in immunity against diseases, such as mastitis, and in addressing infertility and lameness.

Several factors influence the cow’s requirements for minerals, including age, stage of pregnancy, and stage of lactation. However, when it comes to optimum immune response, the mineral requirement is greater than it is for growth and reproduction.

So a cow may have sufficient mineral intake for adequate growth and reproductive performance but not for optimal immune performance. Moreover, by the time clinical signs of a mineral inadequacy appear, the cow’s immunity, growth, and fertility already have been compromised.

Producers and their consulting nutritionists can do more today to realize the economic advantages of longevity and reduced involuntary culling. In feeding minerals, they can go beyond avoiding a deficiency and seek to optimize the mineral status of their dairy animals. In this way, they can help optimize immune response across the dairy herd.

Extensive research shows that feeding trace minerals such as zinc, selenium, and copper in organic form — as in Bioplex® minerals from Alltech — increases uptake in the animal and achieves a higher level of response.

Bioplex with Total Replacement Technology™, delivers great profitability in a more efficient form, says Steven Elliott, Alltech’s Global Director Mineral Management Division.

And reach out to D&D today…