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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Cell Wall Biology and Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335473

Title: Balancing rations to optimize milk components

item Zanton, Geoffrey

Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/7/2016
Publication Date: 11/9/2016
Citation: Zanton, G.I. 2016. Balancing rations to optimize milk components. In: Proceedings of the Penn State Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop, November 9-10, 2016, Grantville, Pennsylvania. p. 49-54.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Mammalian milk contains a multitude of components that are important in providing the nutritional requirements of the developing offspring. Whereas the primary selective pressure for the vast majority of mammalian milk composition comes from the ability to meet the nutritional requirements for health and growth of the neonate, selection for bovine milk production and composition for dairy breeds comes from providing nutritional and processing characteristics important for human consumers. The energetic components of milk—lactose, protein, and fat—provide the main compositional characteristics that are considered when attempting to manage milk composition in a commercial dairy herd. These components play different roles in the nutrition of the calf and also have different values for the dairy supply chain and in human nutrition. Due to multiple component pricing, management of herd nutrition to increase total milk volume is a strategy that has less relevance compared to managing the production of these individual milk components. Economically, milk protein and fat are the main contributors to increasing milk revenue, with lactose and other solids representing a usually trivial amount of revenue for the milk. Many factors contribute to the composition of milk, and some are more readily altered through management, including nutrition, than others. This presentation will discuss some of these nutritional means to optimize milk component production.