The mission of CRF’s proprietary dairy research program is to develop and/or refine nutritional concepts and applications that increase the net value of our members’ feeding programs to the commercial dairy producers. Our dairy research is conducted under the highest scientific and ethical standards, such that the members and the customers can be confident in applying CRF nutritional concepts. This has resulted in CRF members applying CRF’s research to more than 700,000 metric tons of dairy feed annually!
CRF’s dairy research program was initiated in 1962, and has involved research in all stages of production – calves, growing heifers, transition, lactation – resulting in 696 proprietary research trials. CRF utilizes a large number of highly productive, intensely managed cows for research purposes, as those are the animals presenting producers with the greatest nutritional and management challenges; and allows CRF to accurately reflect commercial feeding and management challenges/scenarios.
CRF dairy research has been a productive and proprietary program for our member owners for many years. CRF holds ten patents and six trademarks as a result of our innovative discoveries. In 1976, CRF embarked on its first patent application in dairy nutrition, the Regulated Protein Solubility concept, which was the newest and most dramatic development in dairy nutrition of its time. As a result, it provided the impetus for new CRF dairy concepts and CRF patents that prevailed through this decade and the next. Such concepts as formulating rations based on the Rumen Available Protein® (RAP®) and Rumen Available Carbohydrates® (RAC®) have been used by dairy producers throughout parts the U.S., Canada, and Europe to increase milk production and profitability for years. The patented RAC concept was further refined with the development of the RAC+® concept. CRF also developed the unique feeding program Totalac® which has allowed dairy producers to reduce their land and labor requirements or increase the herd size while improving milk production. In addition, CRF dairy research has….
- Developed a specific fatty acid blend to enhance reproduction….more pregnancies earlier in lactation.
- Researched “Rumen Modifiers” to improve digestibility in lactating cows.
- Successfully found alternatives to antibiotics in milk replacers and calf starters.
- Evaluated the impact of pelleting and temperatures on lactation performance.
Large trials are utilized so that CRF can ensure that the research results can be interpreted accurately and used with confidence in commercial dairy herds. CRF’s dairy research program has developed several research strategies that are our current emphasis:
- Increase energy corrected milk per cow while maintaining and/or improving milk composition, milk quality and cow health within economically beneficial limits to the producer while considering overall environmental impacts.
- Increase milk production in the first 100 days of lactation.
- Develop products and/or programs that will reduce the cost and environmental impact of producing dairy replacements by increasing growth or productivity once in lactation.
- Non-medicated calf starters that performs equal to or better than antibiotic or ionophore fed calves in average daily gain and health indices.
- Reduce the cost of producing a replacement heifer of adequate size and body condition, calving at 22 months of age, while maintaining or improving first lactation milk production and reproductive performance.
- Improve reproductive efficiency.
- Increase conception rate at 125 days in milk.
- Investigate methods of measuring environmental impact and animal behavior as it pertains to welfare when developing protocols to achieve CRF’s dairy research objectives.
- Continuous evaluation of CRF’s unique concepts…
- Rumen Available Protein® … RAP®
- Rumen Available Carbohydrates® … RAC®
- Rumen Available Carbohydrates+® … RAC+®