Livestock farmers in Germany have been replacing barley with wheat in their animal feed due to a cold winter, springtime drought and summer rain that have resulted in a decline in the size and quality of the country's barley harvests, according to reports.
According to the farm ministry, estimates on the winter barley crop have fallen 21.6% to 6.76 million metric tons. "Wheat is expected to increasingly replace barley, which is in short supply, in feeding troughs in the EU," said German grain trading house Toepfer International. And while the spring barley crop estimate is up 18.1% to 2.01 million metric tons, harvest-time rain could hurt quality, according to experts.
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extension outreach appointment, Dr. Tom Overton, professor of dairy management
within Cornell University’s College of Agriculture, spends much of his time
working with NY dairies, their nutritionists and vets on issues related to
transition cow management. In his opinion, one of the areas of opportunity for
dairy farms can be found in the management of the pre-calving diet. With
his team, Overton is currently involved in a commercial research study involving
55 farms focused on the influence of particle size on dry cow diets. “We’re
finding that diets are quite sortable with large differences in particle size
distribution,” Overton explains. “[The industry] needs to do a better job in
terms of particle size to make [the rations] less sortable.” In a
total mixed ration, sorting is problematic because cows tend to favor the grain
component and therefor may not consume the necessary fiber and nutrients. In
this video, Overton discusses his team’s research involving pre-calving dairy
diets at the World Dairy Expo. The 2014 edition of
the World Dairy Expo, which was held in early October in Madison,
WI, drew more than
300,000 visitors from roughly 90 countries. The event featured 2,500 head of
dairy cattle and more than 250 exhibitors.
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