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, so that the CRF members and their customers can be confident in applying CRF nutritional concepts.
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 680 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.
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. Our current dairy research program has developed several research strategies that emphasis:
- Increasing milk production per cow while maintaining and/or improving milk composition, milk quality and cow health within economically beneficial limits to the producer.
- Develop proprietary ingredients which enhance milk production efficiency and /or milk composition.
- Improve reproductive efficiency and the conception rate at 125 days in milk.
- 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. For example, CRF has evaluated the long-term influence of accelerated heifer programs.
- Products to improve the growth rates & efficiencies of calves, while reducing morbidity and mortality.
- Study nutrient based approaches commonly used in ration balancing software used by feed companies to generate novel research ideas.
- Continuous evaluation of CRF’s unique RAP®, RAC®, and RAC+®
- Development of nutritional programs for the transition cow that will lead to higher levels of production post-partum.
- Refinement and expansion of the proprietary Totalac®