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Technology has changed forages used in dairy industry


To get a good feeling for what the dairy industry looks like in Kansas and surrounding states, one would have to look back at how it used to be. Dairy farms in the 1950s were pasture based, herds were small and there was a lot of hard manual labor. A dairy farm in 2018 looks much different, Mike Brouk, Kansas State University Extension dairy specialist, said Dec. 12 at the Kansas Forage and Grassland Council’s winter conference and annual meeting in Salina, Kansas.

Sixty years ago, some corn silage was put up for winter feeding, but the majority forages used in the dairy cattle diets came from pastures, Brouk said. Now, cattle are in larger herds, and some with automated milking machines. Robotic milkers are set to milk 24/7 and cows make their own choices as when to come in. Everything is recorded electronically.

“That’s drastically changing what we are thinking in terms of forages,” Brouk said.

 

Source: High Plains Journal


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