Dairy Nutrition

    Philosophy

    The Ritchie Smith team of Dairy Specialists is comprised of four Nutritionists and six Field staff that specialize in total Dairy Nutrition, including beef cattle nutrition. Our technical nutrition and field services also provide the most advanced crop consultation and provide the best seed varieties available in our local area.

    Our nutrition philosophy is to help our customers realize the full potential in their feed forages through specific assays and the selection of specific concentrate ingredients that best utilize the forages grown on farm. Ritchie Smith recognizes the importance of maximizing forage utilization in order to maximize total farm revenue after feed costs (IOFC). Our aspiration is to provide complete consultation from crops to milk in order to satisfy our customer’s goals.

    Nutrition

    The Ritchie Smith nutrition team is continually adapting feeding programs and concepts based on the most recent university research and best practices available. Feeding programs such as lactation diets and transition cow diets are constantly being reviewed to enhance long-term productivity and animal health.

    Our team approach to nutrition provides solutions and ideas to on-farm technical challenges. We interact with other agricultural professionals, such as veterinarians and hoof trimmers, in order to provide the most complete service package available. Round table meetings with veterinarians at herd health time allows discussion and timely response to address animal health issues. Our one-on-one interaction with producers, along with in-house ration balancing, allow us to develop custom feeding programs that suit individual farm needs quickly and precisely.

    The basis of our nutrition programs is third party forage analysis using advanced NIR scanning and complete mineral analysis using the accuracy of wet chemistry. We are one of the first in our area to utilize fiber digestibility rates to allow our team to take a three-dimensional look at how forages are broken down in the rumen. Forage analyses in combination with dynamic ration balancing allow our team to enhance rumen function by better complementing forages with concentrates (grain). The ability to model and maximize how cattle utilize forage enables maximum forage efficiency with minimal cost inputs through the prediction of how carbohydrates and protein sources break down in the animal.

    Going Forward

    Ritchie Smith focuses on our customer’s long-term best interests. With that goal always in mind, we strive to enhance farm revenue through feed efficiency; continuing education through producer meetings and seminars; and working with individual producers to identify specific goals. Implementation of programs such as our Key Performance Indicator (KPI) program provide a measurable system to monitor and maintain a team focus on productivity, animal health, nutrition and specific on-farm goals.

    Tools & Resources

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