Virginia Cooperative Extension - Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Third party documentation is important when considering alternatives.

by Charles C. Stallings
Extension Dairy Scientist, Nutrition

Dairy Pipeline: March 1997

There seems to be practices, feed additives, and treatments that keep coming around without adequate documentation to support use. My stance has always been to seek an unbiased, third party evaluation before using. This does not include testimonials from producers that have used the product or practice and got a 10 lb. increase in milk production. There are so many things on the farm that can enhance or mask a single site response. Multiple sites would be required to determine response. Even better would be an evaluation under controlled conditions keeping nutrition, days in milk, etc. comparable. Certainly, all testimonials are not unreliable but they can be misleading. Before adopting a practice or purchasing a product ask for the data. Then ask for the organization or person that did the testing. Are they set to gain financially from adoption? Third party, unbiased results are best. If that is not possible a written guarantee that the product will perform as promised might be in order.

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