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What the research tells us Results from trials conducted at Land O’Lakes Purina Feed LongView Research Farm in 2010 and 2011 show that calves fed a highly fermentable calf starter had an increase of 70 pounds more gain, 1.2 inches greater growth in height and 4.7 inches greater growth in length compared to control calves. Study results also indicated a 118% increase in ben- efi cial growth in rumen papillae length, a 3% feed-to-gain ratio and an average daily gain (ADG) advantage of 29% at 24 weeks of age. Continued research at The Ohio State Uni- versity looking at rumen papillae growth is consistent with the original work conducted by Land O’Lakes Purina Feed, notes Daniels. A trial that Idsinga has been conducting on his own operation also shows promising results. For the past two months, Idsinga has been feed- ing a highly fermentable calf starter to calves post-weaning at 85 days of age. Initial measure- ments indicate that calves in this new program have grown 1.4 inches longer, weighed 33 pounds more and measured 1.2 inches taller at hip height than those on the standard TMR fed. “We’re looking forward to getting more data from the trial we are conducting,” ex- plains Idsinga. “If we can manage to skip the growth slump that comes post-weaning, there is a lot of potential to our bottom line.” Heifers that transition through this time period smoothly should be on track to reach other key stages in a timely manner, includ- ing puberty. Puberty is known to be associ- ated more with body weight than a heifer’s age. Heifers that go their whole life without experiencing a growth slump might hit all of the subsequent “targets” earlier and enter into the milking herd sooner. Remember, “heifers are not small cows,” notes Daniels. “They are young, growing animals and their diets should be tailored to them.” Ë FYI I For more information on rumen papil- lae growth and development contact Kristy Daniels at daniels.412@osu.edu. Milk Your Ration for all it’s Worth. Maximize the Value of Your Feed with Levucell SC Rumen Specific Live Yeast ® Levucell SC has been Shown to… · · · · Increase Fiber Digestibility and Utilization Improve Average Rumen pH and pH Pattern Create a More Favorable Rumen Environment Increase Microbial Protein Production Which Can Lead To... ©2012. Levucell is a registered trademark of Lallemand Animal Nutrition. · · · · Increased Milk Yield and Milk Fat Improved Feed Efficiency and Feed Conversion A Positive Return on Investment (ROI) A More Favorable Income Over Feed Cost MAXIMIZE THE VALUE OF YOUR FEED WITH LEVUCELL SC. For more information, call (800) 692-4700. LALLEMAND ANIMAL NUTRITION Tel: (800) 692-4700 | Email: LAN_NA@lallemand.com | www.lallemandanimalnutrition.com www.dairybusiness.com April 2012 WESTERNDAIRYBUSINESS 13