Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, July 14, 1984, Image 140

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    California dairy farmer Bernard Teunissen, left, and Dr.
Ken Cummings, Church & Dwight, discovered that the
Teunissen herd responded well to the addition of six ounces
of bicarb per head daily, as demonstrated by a University of
California-Davis trial.
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CALL: 898-2241
or 394 7277
rri I / 150 Main St.-Phone 898-2241
W/ 351 W. James St.-Phone 394-7277
Dairy field trials show bicarb benefit
BROOKFIELD, Wise. - Field
trials at two California dairy
operations show that sodium
bicarbonate can result in in
creased milk production when fed
in rations based on alfalfa.
According to Dr. Don Bath,
extension dairy nutritionist at the
University of California-Davis,
milk production at one herd im
proved by about 1,000 pounds per
lactation when sodium bicarbonate
was fed at 0.8 percent of the total
dry matter. That was at BJ Dairy,
owned by Bernard Teunissen of
Corona, California.
Over a 305-day lactation, first
lactation cows in the Teunissen
herd averaged 17,000 pounds of
milk with bicarb and 16,500 pounds
of milk wihtout the buffer. Second
lactation cows produced an
average 19,400 pounds with bicarb
and 18,400 pounds without.
Cows with three or more lac
tations showed the greatest bicarb
benefit. These averaged 21,000
pounds of milk with bicarb and
7 9
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19,200 pounds without the added
At another dairy, 6T Ranch of
Madera, milk production with
bicarb improved only with first
lactation animals, Bath says. Milk
production from older cows fed
bicarb was less than the controls.
The nutritionist attributes the
varying response to differences in
feeding and management at each
location. The ration fed to the
Teunissen herd was higher in
energy and lower in fiber than the
ration fed at 6T Ranch. And, cows
in the Teunissen herd were likely
under more stress due to higher
average milk production and
three-times-a-day milking.
“The combination of higher milk
production, three-times-a-day
milking and higher energy, lower
fiber ration would be expected to
cause a situation where sodium
bicarbonate would have a
beneficial effect,” Bath explains.
Feeding sodium bicarbonate did
pay off, based on the results at BJ
Dairy. Bicarb cost about six cents
per cow per day, or about $lB over
a 305-day lactation. The extra 1,000
pounds of milk gamed per lactation
added $l2O in income per cow (with
a $l2/cwt milk price). So, every
dollar spent on sodium bicarbonate
returned an additional $6 in milk
“Generally, a two percent in
crease in milk production will pay
for bicarb feeding,” points out
Nyles Peterson, University of
California dairy extension agent in
San Bernadino County, who
assisted with the trial at BJ Dairy.
“Our research shows that
sodium bicarbonate can be
beneficial with alfalfa rations,
especially where high levels of
concentrates are fed and cows are
being pushed for high production.
“In the past, we’ve always
thought a dairyman needed
sodium bicarbonate only if he had
low fat tests or acid-base im
balance, but with this research,
(Turn to Page Dl 3)
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