I was asked to participate in an interview with Lynn James from Progressive Dairyman about Syryczuk Farms Dairy in Lublin. Read the article here. She wanted to highlight the things that Doug and his family do to achieve high production and good component premiums. I have been doing nutrition work for Doug and his family for over 16 years. Many things have changed at Syryczuk farms over the years, but there are some key parts of their business that have remained the same that all dairy producers need to keep in mind to be successful.
The first key part is high-quality forage. The cows at Syryczuk Farms have a high dry matter intake because the forage is always low in NDF and lignin. Doug does a great job getting the highest quality alfalfa haylage he can. He is consistently producing low lignin, high protein forage.
The next part is ration changes, I make less than ten changes per year to the lactating ration. Yes, forages change, but Doug’s ration has been consistent day to day. I think we, as nutritionists, get too caught up with the impact we can make to the lactating ration. High-quality ingredients and additives that make a high impact to production are really important to good production and components, regardless of cost.
The dry period is the beginning of the next lactation. Get the feeding program wrong and the potential income decrease of lost production in the next lactation is staggering. Dairy producers need to focus on dry cows much closer than we traditionally have been doing. There are wonderful feeding and monitoring tools that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of far off and close up cow groups.
Lastly, cow comfort is very important. Anything a producer can do to make their cows more comfortable will equate to more income. It makes sense, but little things like the way we handle cows is important, and often overlooked. Take heed of this advice and you will achieve a higher level of production.
Ag Services Manager