The educational event, hosted by Calibrate technologies and Purina Mills, was held at Barr Farms.

David Weakley, director of forage research with Calibrate technologies, shared insights on how to optimize feed inputs and maximize profit potential – whether producers are utilizing on farm ingredients or purchased feedstuffs.

Weakley explained that feed ingredients and forages can be nutritionally volatile, creating starch variation in the ration. He said that the stability of a herd’s diet affects the stability of milk output and the profit potential of the operation.

To minimize starch variation and improve their bottom lines, producers and nutritionists were taught about ration testing tools available through Calibrate technologies.

Dairy producers from Franklin and Cumberland counties in Pennsylvania and Washington County, Maryland, were invited to attend the event. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about Barr Farms nutrition program and to tour the newly installed DeLaval robotic milking system that the herd uses to milk its 130-cows.

“Our goal in hosting this event was to spread the word about Calibrate technologies and show dairy producers what ruminal starch digestibility testing can offer their bottom lines,” says event host Jason Leonard, with Land O’Lakes Purina Feed.

“The Barr Farms facility was an ideal location to host the event. Not only did guests get a chance to see the exciting new robotic milking system and hear from Dr. Weakley, they also were able to hear firsthand from Barr Farms what ruminal starch digestibility testing has meant to their herd.”

Last year, Barr Farms looked to Calibrate technologies to determine if they could eliminate some of the variability in butterfat levels while still maintaining milk production in the herd.


Results from the starch digestibility test, used in combination with the Calibrate online calculator, have given the herd’s nutritionist additional information on the ration ingredients – helping the herd to consistently average 80 pounds per cow per day and eliminate wavering component levels.

One year later, Barr Farms continues to run starch digestibility tests once a month and before any new feed ingredient is introduced to ensure consistent ruminal starch levels and stable milk production.  FG

—From Calibrate technologies news release

David Weakley, director of forage research with Calibrate technologies shared insights on how to optimize feed inputs and maximize profit potential with dairy producers, nutritionists, and consultants at Barr Farms in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, last month. Photo by Jon Casey, courtesy of Calibrate technologies.