Posts by Rob Costello, Dairy Technical/Business Support Manager, Milk Specialties Global

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

New Organic Calf Milk Replacer



Organic calf milk replacers have been a rather scarce commodity in the United States. Milk Specialties Global aims at changing that relationship with the introduction of Organi-calf , their new USDA Organic calf milk replacer. For many organic dairies, this may be just the tool to help them finally break the link in Johne's transmission.


Organi-calf is formulated with organic milk ingredients, organic palm oil and organic carbohydrates to provide an instant calf milk replacer with 20% protein and 22% fat. Thanks to their organic milk ingredient facility in Newport, Nebraska, Milk Specialties has a steady and consistent supply of organic milk proteins.

A key factor in how readily and completely a milk replacer mixes is protein encapsulation of the fat. This process enables fat to readily go into solution when the powder is mixed with water. Milk Specialties is a major manufacturer of protein encapsulated fats and uses that same technology to produce Organi-calf . Encapsulation also helps ensure that ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the product and are in a form that maximizes digestibility. For more information on encapsulation see The Science of Mixing Milk Replacers post.

Organi-calf is also formulated with vitamins and minerals to provide the same support for growth and proper development that's provided in other Milk Specialties' milk replacers.

How big is the need for organic milk replacer? If you assume a daily feeding rate of 1.25 pounds per calf and consider only herd replacements, every 10% of organic raised heifer calves consuming organic milk replacer translates into about 1,000,000 pounds of milk replacer powder annually. And that's just for heifer calves. This is based on 2015 USDA statistics for organic production which puts total organic milk products slightly over 5% of total US production and total organic cows at just under 250,000.

If you would like more information about Organi-calf  you can follow this link to the Milk Specialties Global contact page and send an email to your regional representative: Milk Specialties Global Animal Nutrition.

Organic certification was obtained through OCIA, Organic Crop Improvement Association.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Winterize Your Calf Feeding Program


Previous posts at Calf Sessions have presented ideas on ramping up your calf feeding program during winter cold stress. I recently combined those feed management ideas with basic environmental management in a movie format. The movie looks at the effect of environmental temperature changes on the calf, especially the young calf which is physiologically not very well equipped to handle environmental stresses.

When it comes to managing calves in cold weather there are a number of things you can do as the temperature drops. Managing the calf's environment through calf jackets, adequate bedding, minimizing drafts and exposure can have a big impact on the effectiveness of cold weather nutrition strategies. Increasing nutrient intake is a key component of successful cold weather management.

Rather than providing an extensive movie review, I'll let it speak for itself.