Survey of nutritional recommendations used by dairy cattle nutritionists in Brazil in 2013

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Exhibit Hall AB (Kansas City Convention Center)
Diego P Silva , São Paulo State University (UNESP), Dracena campus, Dracena, Brazil
Alexandre M Pedroso , EMBRAPA, São Carlos, Brazil
Tassia VB Carrara , São Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu campus, Botucatu, Brazil
Danilo D Millen , Supported by São Paulo State Foundation (FAPESP), São Paulo, Brazil
Abstract Text:

This survey was designed to describe the nutritional recommendations and management practices adopted by Brazilian dairy cattle nutritionists in 2013. Forty-three nutritionists responsible for about 960 dairy farms, completed the survey within 1-mo, which was available online (www.surveymonkey.com) and consisted of 77 questions. The level of grains included in lactation diets recommended by 22 (55.0%) participants ranged from 31% to 50%, but 8 (20.0%) nutritionists recommended diets with 51% to 60%, and 10 (25.0%) used less than 31% grains. Likewise, the level of concentrate included in lactation diets recommended by 18 (43.9%) participants ranged from 41% to 50%, but 11 (26.8%) nutritionists recommended diets with 51% to 60%, and 12 (29.3%) used less than 31% concentrate. Corn was the primary source of grain used in lactation diets (n = 37; 97.4%). With respect to the energy unit used to formulate lactation diets, 40.5% (n = 15) nutritionists used TDN, followed by the NFC (29.7%; n = 11). The main source of information for feed energy values was the NRC (73.2%, n = 30), followed by CPM-Dairy (17.1%, n = 7). The typical range of roughage inclusion in finishing diets was 50.5%, and corn silage was the primary roughage source, being used by 30 nutritionists (79.0%). Moreover, the average recommended concentrations of NDF were 35.4%. Also, NDF was the fiber analysis method of choice by 29 of the nutritionists (76.3%), whereas physically effective NDF was cited by 7 (18.4%) of the respondents. Regarding coproduct use in lactation diets, citrus pulp pellets was the primary coproduct included in lactation diets, being used by 20 (51.3%) of the nutritionists. Use of whole cottonseed was reported by 8 (20.5%) nutritionists, whereas soybean hulls was reported by 7 (17.9%) of the respondents. When asked about feeding frequency, most of the clients served by the nutritionists surveyed typically feed twice daily (70.7%; n = 29), whereas 10 participants (24.4%) reported that their clients feed cows three times daily. This study presents a part of an overview of the practices and management recommendations currently applied by dairy cattle nutritionists from all regions in Brazil. Also, this survey may help to identify and solve problems in Brazilian dairy cattle operations, and moreover, these data may facilitate the design of industry-oriented research.

Keywords: Brazil, dairy, survey