Calf nutrition was one of the topics discussed last week at the 11th Annual Manitoba Dairy Conference.

Dr Michael Steele, of the University of Alberta, focused on the importance of nutrition from birth to post-weaning.

He explained why it's important to get the animal off to a good start.

"We have a very high mortality and morbidity rate in Canada in dairy production. It's too high and we're using too many antibiotics at the current time. Our overall health is compromised, so I think that there's a tremendous opportunity to use nutrition to mitigate that."

Steele notes that there are lots of studies showcasing that the more growth there is early in life, the more intake of milk there is, and these cows will actually go on to produce more milk.

He adds the investments in nutrition in early life can have a long-term lifetime production impact.

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