The dairy industry has undergone so many changes in the last few decades. Most of these have to do with developing higher yields and an improvement in the over-all product. This is discussed in this month’s Farm Report by the William H Miner Agricultural Research Institute.
The lead article in this report discusses how lactating cows require more water than dry cows. Water is the most important part of the equation if one wants to create larger yields. However, this is mostly neglected. Studies show that dairy cows consume about 170 pounds of water daily.
Water intake will vary based on certain factors, according to an article from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A dairy cow’s consumption will depend on weight/body size, stage of production, age and the environment as well. Temperature also is a key factor, as cows in warmer weather may drink twice the amount they would in colder weather.
In the 1970’s a dairy cow would produce an average of 3,750 liters a year. Fast forward to 2016, cows are making an average of 7,445 liters a year (study done in 2012). This means that there has been a drastic increase in the last 40 years, thanks to selective breeding and herd management.
Having an adequate supply ensures better dry matter intake. According to researchers, peak food consumption is associates with peak water intake. A study cited in the report states that dairy cows with restricted water intake would drop their feeding to at least 50%.
Water intake will vary based on certain factors. A dairy cow’s consumption will depend on weight/body size, stage of production, age and the environment as well. Temperature also is a key factor, as cows in warmer weather may drink twice the amount they would in colder weather.
The Farm Report features two formulas that people in the dairy industry will find useful when calculating how much water their lactating bovines will require. To see the formulas, you can click here to read the full article.
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