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Selko | Scientific insights

Programme for Sustainable Dairy Farming

How to unlock the full potential of lifetime performance in dairy herds

A successful management of the transition period is crucial

To feed the global population in 2050, we need to revolutionize dairy production today. Consumers are becoming increasingly well-informed about what they eat, how their food is being produced and the impact on the environment. The solution is transformational, but possible: increasing the average milk production per day of life otherwise known as their Lifetime Daily Yield (LDY).

A successful management of the transition period is crucial to unlock the full potential of lifetime performance in dairy herds. The Selko programme for sustainable dairy farming translates the latest science into actionable insights and practical advice to support decision-making on farm, helping cows to deal more effectively with the three core physiological adaptations that occur during a transition: digestive, metabolic and immune.

Watch experts from the dairy industry share their views on the impact of increasing Lifetime Daily Yield and how to achieve it.

Capture the highlights of expert insights on how to make sustainable dairy farming more profitable

Catch some of the important highlights of the Selko expert opinions in just 7 minutes.

Watch a summary of the topics several experts covered during their presentation at the Selko 2021 presentations.

Lifetime Daily Yield is essential to achieve sustainable and profitable dairy farming

Lifetime Daily Yield (LDY) is the total lifetime production of a dairy cow, divided by the total number of days of her life. Increasing LDY will improve sustainability and profitability of dairy farming.

Dr. A. Römer

Institute of Livestock Farming
Dummerstorf, Germany

How to reach the optimal number of lactations in a dairy cow

Dairy cows usually achieve their maximum production at the 4th or 5th lactation. Many cows in modern dairy systems do not last that long, on average they are being culled after about 3 lactations.

What is the optimal number of lactations for a dairy cow and how should farmers make correct culling decisions?

Prof. A. de Vries

University of Florida
Unites States of America

The effect of inflammation on milk fever, ketosis and fertility of dairy cows.

Systemic inflammation requires major metabolic adaptation that can ultimately impact productivity, reproduction and health. Recent data suggest that inflammation might be behind transition diseases like milk fever and ketosis. Around calving, inflammation can originate from multiple sources including the uterus and the mammary gland, but also a “leaky gut”.

Prof. L. Baumgard

Iowa State University
Unites States of America

Targeting hindgut health to optimize the transition to lactation of dairy cows

Transition diets for dairy cows containing high levels of starch can have a negative impact on gastrointestinal health. Despite extensive focus on the rumen, Hindgut acidosis in dairy cows can result in leaky gut and contribute to inflammation. Therefore, supporting hindgut health represents a window of opportunity to improve performance and prevent disease. Several management measures aiming at reducing bypass starch can be implemented. In addition, rumen by-pass nutritional solutions are particularly well positioned to positively impact hindgut health.

Dr. V. Sanz Fernandez

Trouw Nutrition, Dairy research
the Netherlands

How should a dairy herd be managed to reach 5 lactations?

Cows need a place to rest, a place to eat and a stress free calving line to deal with the transition to lactation successfully and to avoid involuntary culling. In addition, feed cows a dry cow diet during the last week of lactation, use a cuddle box for the calf to reduce stress and to ensure the cow starts eating immediately after her calf is born and carry out daily health checks during the first 10 days in lactation.

J. Driessen, DVM

the Netherlands

Selko targets to increase resilience of dairy cows

To achieve a Lifetime Daily Yield of at least 20kg of milk per day, the following targets must be reached19,21,22,23,24,25.

Download more research and documentation

You can access all of our documentation about Selko protocols, sustainable dairy farming and latest research insights about Dairry Cow transition management.

How to transform your farm to make sustainable dairy farming more profitable?

The brochure: “Selko programme to increase longevity of dairy cows” presents that Selko programme including some of the scientific information that forms the basis for the programme. It also presents an overview of the support available to implement a Selko programme for sustainable dairy farming.

Download our brochure and learn more about the Selko programme.

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