October 2022 Journal Club – Dr. Bill Weiss, The Ohio State University


Dr. Bill Weiss, The Ohio State University; Dr. Victor Cabrera, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Co-host: Scott Sorrell and Dr. Pete Morrow

Episode 55: 2022 Journal Club October

Podcast Topic

Gathering over cold drinks at the World Dairy Expo pubcast to discuss recent research on nutritional grouping among dairy farms are Dr. Bill Weiss, Dr. Victor Cabrera and Dr. Pete Morrow.


Dr. Bill Weiss, Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University, began the conservation through the recently published research paper in the Journal of Dairy Science, introducing one of the authors, Dr. Victor Cabrera, Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2:25

Here is a link to the article: https://www.journalofdairyscience.org…

What strategies in dairy cow nutritional grouping does the research recommend? Victor added that along with help from a graduate student Jorge Bartos, research shows the opportunity to group animals with similar homogenous nutritional requirements. 3:40

He noted the underlying concepts like production, lactation, pregnancy stages and sometimes herd sizes are also drivers for grouping considerations. 5:70

Dr. Cabrera said he would first separate by lactation or production, but when calculating the density of nutritional requirements for each animal, he said the animal grouping typically happens naturally. 9:30

He also said nutritional requirements play a factor, adding the concept-lead factor of following the diet of the 83rd percentile cow. But how can we improve the nutritional accuracy and formulate the best diet for the group, Dr. Bill Weiss then asked. 12:40

Dr. Cabrera mentioned the research paper showed the overweight concern for animals within the transitional period and said another challenge the research indicated was the lower metabolic energy and body score conditions. He added that diets ultimately improve the health and welfare of the animals in all cases. 19:45

Dr. Pete Morrow, podcast co-host, said that early in his career he had a dairy do grouping according to production on a late lactation cow on a cheap diet. He added the diet was formulated for 10 pounds less of milk and later realized lead factors was instead the key measure. 24:20

There are two points to grouping, Dr. Cabrera said. The journal research was collected from a large farm in Wisconsin, with around 2,400 lactating cows used for the data. Within the grouping for this farm, cows were moved from the 14 different pens each week. Dr. Cabrera mentioned that there are multiple pens for each lactation type, adding the nutrition for the animal’s changes based on feed prices and not requirements. 29:31

Dr. Cabrera said he and his team thought the roadblock in nutritional grouping for farmers would be fear that moving them frequently would decrease their productivity and labor management throughout the process. 34:49

From the paper, however, he added the research doesn’t show a decrease in milk production, but instead, the grouping concept yields opportunities for extra milk production, health gain, environmental benefits and more. 36:30

Wrapping up the conversation, Dr. Cabrera emphasized two points, mentioning he believes farmers have a great opportunity to improve nutritional accuracy and believes nutritional grouping offers an effective and efficient system. 41:48

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