October 10, 2016
Diamond V: Dairy producers getting better ROI with Nutritek®
In a producer-expert panel at World Dairy Expo, dairy producers from the US states of Wisconsin and Ohio told how they used Diamond V's NutriTek® to improve income-over-feed-cost during the long stretch of low milk prices.
"Upping Our Game in a Volatile Market" on October 4 featured Lambert VanderMade of VanderMade Family Dairies, currently milking 2,000 Holsteins at two locations near Sherwood, Ohio, and Jim Leick of Night Hawk Dairy, currently milking 850 Holsteins in a closed herd at Stratford, Wisconsin.
NutriTek is Diamond V's most advanced nutritional health product for all dairy animals. Research shows it provides a new level of support for optimal digestive health and balanced immune function, which translates into healthy cows performing to their genetic potential. Healthier cows are more productive cows and produce safer milk.
"Currently, we have 16 full-time employees," Night Hawk Dairy's Leick told the audience. "We milk three times a day in a double 12 parallel parlor. Pretty soon, we'll be running 24 hours a day. Our bulk tank average is usually 100 to 105 pounds per day," Leick said. "Cow comfort is real important to us. I like to say, our cows also are our employees."
The Wisconsin producer then recalled early 2015: "We were starting to have some problems with Salmonella in our herd and our nutritionist… suggested that we give NutriTek a try. So we figured we'd give it a three-month trial and see how it worked, because anything we can do to have healthier animals in our herd and use less antibiotics is a plus for us and for the consumers."
Night Hawk Dairy, which had been a long-time Diamond V Original XPC™ user, was hoping for even fewer fresh cow metabolic problems and a bump up in milk production due to NutriTek.
"We actually had a good three to four pound increase," Leick said, "with a peak milk increase of six to 10 pounds. Also, our veterinarians have commented that we have less metabolic problems than we used to have. A lot of the small issues have disappeared, which makes them happy.
"We are committed to having healthier animals," he added, "which equates to happier employees -- both human and bovine. Since we don't have to deal with those sick cow issues, we can spend more time taking care of the little problems that make a big difference on our dairy."
Ohio producer Lambert VanderMade commented: "We've worked with same nutrition company for 14 years now, which happens to be the one that did the (initial NutriTek) research with Diamond V. We're not one to jump from one company to the next based on price. We believe in value."
VanderMade was also an Original XPC user and, based on the research data, decided to incorporate NutriTek in his total mixed rations. "I always have the rule," he said, "that if it doesn't return two to one, then I don't want it."
VanderMade noted that he had made some changes bringing NutriTek into the ration formulations: "We actually pulled out a couple of other products, because, believe it or not, there is a limitation on how much money I'm willing to spend on feed additives."
The down dairy market did not mean a change in VanderMade's value approach to formulating rations. The data on first and second lactation cows, he said, showed the positive effect of NutriTek in the TMR. He attributed a lot of the rise in third lactation milk to improved cow comfort in the newer facility.
"We've done some other things as well," VanderMade said. "But I do believe we've made some huge gains. We've seen healthier cows and better starts, which everybody knows causes better peak milk and you can track that all the way through the lactation."
Also presenting in this producer-expert panel, Dr. Stuart Reeves, director of research and development at Diamond V's human division, Embria Health Sciences®, reviewed th company's research and development of immune support technology, including the human nutritional health product EpiCor®.
Dr. Bill Stone, director of ruminant technical services, detailed NutriTek research, including farm trials involving more than 100,000 cows on more than 20 commercial dairies in which NutriTek provided US$0.37 average increase in income over feed costs compared to Original XPC. Dr. Stone also reviewed effects on pathogens, including E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella, which are serious challenges to both animal health and food safety challenges.
- Diamond V