So the trauma of a technological meltdown at the Cornell Nutrition Conference has finally abated. In referring to the mishaps I endured in trying to use an iPad and SlideShark, with an iPhone as a remote, Dr. Charlie Sniffen called the presentation an “abject failure”. At least I hope he was referring to the technical challenges….. There were 4 points I tried to make in this presentation:
- That water can contribute tens to hundreds of grams of mineral to a cow’s mineral intake;
- That mineral intake from water is no different in terms of solubility or availability than the minerals in the diet;
- That the minerals from water can lead to excesses, which provide opportunities to reduce diet mineral levels, or which may compromise availability of trace minerals; and
- That the minerals from water contribute to the overall acid/base status of cows, just as the DCAD of the diet does.
In this slide from the presentation, I used a water and diet analysis from a dairy in New Mexico. Evaluating the situation with WaterForCows.com , it is evident that there is sufficient sulfur to compromise the availability of Cu and Se. Perhaps the larger effect is that the negative Strong Ion Difference of the water (-20.4 mEq/L) drags the cows far from an ideal DCAD for intake and milk production; from a DCAD of 29.9 mEq/100g DM to a TICAD of 18.9 mEq/100 g DM.
Technological challenges aside, there has been a great response to the message that water can have significant impacts on the health and productivity of dairy cows. You can evaluate these impacts for your dairy, or those of your clients, by registering for a free subscription to WaterForCows.com.
If you know someone who might value this concept, please forward to them or send them a link! Thanks.