Dry Matter Intake
Dry Matter Intake (DMI): is a broad description of a cow’s total voluntary feed intake on a daily basis. There are quite broad ranges of intake over the course of lactation for individual cows. Then there are huge variations between breeds and even within breeds with differing genotype.
DMI is under the control of a wide range of endocrine, metabolic, physiological and dietary factors. Hepatic oxidation, gut fill, plasma ghrelin, bite rate, bite mass and ration digestibility are just a few of the factors involved in the regulation of DMI.
However, in rotational grazing systems, DMI is often constrained by limitations on total feed offered. When pasture offered per cow is constrained due to the need to build average pasture cover, conserved forages should be made available to allow cows to consume optimal levels of DMI. Then balancing the ration becomes our next objective.