Dairy farm sustainability is a constant and growing topic within the dairy industry. Producers have been focusing on and implementing sustainable dairy practices for decades, but how these discussions take place is changing. The need to adjust and quantify sustainable practices is rapidly evolving and that can leave producers out of the conversation. Globally, governments and regulatory agencies continue to set benchmarks for animal agriculture, but the cost of implementation often lands on the producer.
Dairy Farm Sustainability Can Be an Overwhelming Conversation
With market pressures such as high feed costs and lower milk prices, dairy producers are being squeezed at both ends when it comes to dairy farm profitability. Sustainability initiatives are key for protecting our environment, stewarding our resources for future generations and improving our food supply. What is often ignored is the fact that these initiatives also need to provide a financial benefit to dairy producers.
Dairy producers are already active leaders in dairy farming sustainability without being compensated for it. Practices like recycling water, applying manure as a natural fertilizer and feeding human-inedible byproducts, for example canola meal and distillers grains, have been common practices for decades. In the United States, dairy cattle feed diverts an approximate 204 – 306 million pounds (92,000 – 139,000 metric tonnes) of human-inedible byproducts from landfills per day. By repurposing these byproducts as feed for dairy cattle, the dairy industry drastically reduced methane and nitrous oxide emissions, 49 times more than if these inedible byproducts had been discarded in a landfill and 4.7 times more than if they were composted. On top of these practices, producers continually find new ways to operate more efficiently and make the most of every input. If we request that producers invest extra time and energy to become more sustainable than they already are, there should be a payback for that effort. That’s why we try to find new sustainable solutions that support dairy farm profits.
Make Sustainable Dairy Farming More Profitable with Zinpro® IsoFerm®
Nutritionists should capitalize on the upcycled fiber feedstuffs they are already including in the ration by focusing on fiber digestion. Improved fiber digestion equates to greater feed efficiency (FE) and income over feed costs (IOFC) –key metrics to drive dairy farm profitability.
The cow is a vehicle for sustainability, uniquely suited to turn fiber into nutrient-dense milk. Nutritionists and dairy producers can fuel this natural process and support cows to be better, more efficient producers with Zinpro IsoFerm. This essential nutrient directly feeds fiber-digesting microbes – enhancing rumen function and the cow’s ability to utilize the fiber she’s already consuming. This is reflected in peer-reviewed research that has shown adding Zinpro IsoFerm to the diet increased fiber (NDF) digestion by more than 7.5%, conversion of ruminally-digested feed to microbial protein by more than 6.5% and production of microbial protein by almost 8.5%. With improved fiber digestion and protein utilization, lactating herds can decrease dry matter intake (DMI) by 2% and improve FE by 5.5%. What does this mean for producers?
- Research and real-world experiences show 4.3% more energy-corrected milk (ECM)
- Fewer feed inputs are required, which helps lower feed costs
- By implementing Zinpro IsoFerm into diets, dairy producers can further profit from a sustainable practice – feeding human-inedible fiber – that’s already commonplace on their operation
Zinpro IsoFerm helps dairy herds increase productivity with fewer inputs – to do more with less. This improves the sustainability of producers’ operations, makes the most of the ration investment and supports cows to be more profitable and productive.
Expert Support for Profitable Dairy Farm Sustainability
Focusing on fiber digestion and feed efficiency will increase dairy farm profitability while supporting sustainability – it’s good for the cow, the environment and the producer’s bottom line. Connect with a Zinpro dairy team member to learn how we can partner to protect producer profitability while supporting our industry’s sustainability efforts.
Connect with a Zinpro dairy team member to learn how we can partner to protect producer profitability while supporting our industry’s sustainability efforts.