The 71st Minnesota Nutrition Conference will be held next week in Owatonna, Minnesota. Below is a sneak peek at two of the dairy nutrition sessions that will be held. "Impact of crossbreeding on profitability of dairying" Presenter: Brad Heins Q. Why is this topic important? Reproductive performance and survival rates have been overlooked by many when comparing purebreds and crossbreds.Cows that die on farm or need to be culled for various reasons affect the profitability of the dairy farm. This information can be significant to dairy producers to help maintain cow numbers in the herd.

Q. What new data or practical application do you hope attendees will take away from your presentation?
The results of this study suggest dairy producers can improve fertility and survival of cows, while maintaining high levels of production by crossing Holstein cows with sires of some other breeds of dairy cattle. Furthermore, crossbred cows had greater lifetime profit and more profit per day in the herd than Holstein cows.

"Global trace mineral contamination and a review of EU legislation"
Presenter: Becky Timmons

Q. How could this topic impact a producer's businesses?
Food safety and traceability are becoming more important all the time. Safeguarding the quality of feed ingredients is essential to ensuring feed safety. In the past several years there have been some high-profile recalls that have traced back to contaminated mineral sources. Minerals are susceptible to heavy metal and dioxin contamination and are very often overlooked as a source of potential issue. Contaminated mineral can cause health issues to the animal as well as leading to contaminated end products (meat, milk, eggs).

Q. What new data or practical application do you hope attendees will take away from your presentation?
I hope that attendees take away a better understanding of the risks and sources of contamination associated with minerals. A common misconception is that if a mineral is mined as opposed to recycled that it will be clean. Understanding where the contamination originates and putting a plan in place is the best means of protection for a producer.A product is only as good as the weakest raw material, so understanding the importance of knowing your suppliers and their quality system is the main take-home message.


For more information about the conference, click here.