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Wrong Mike Hutjens?

Dr. Mike Hutjens

Extension Dairy Specialist

University of Illinois

Direct Phone: (217) ***-****       

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University of Illinois

1101 West Peabody Drive

Urbana, Illinois 61801

United States

Company Description

The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (U of I, University of Illinois, UIUC, or simply Illinois) is a public research-intensive university in the U.S. state of Illinois. A land-grant university, it is the flagship campus of the University of Illi ... more

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Background Information

Employment History

Extension Dairy Specialist and Instructor

University of Illinois , Urbana

The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College

Extension Dairy Specialist

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


American Dairy Science Association

Board Director

Federation of Animal Science Societies


University of Minnesota

Extension Dairy Specialist and Coach of the Collegiate Dairy Team

University of Minnesota

Extension Dairy Specialist

University of Minnesota


Professor of Animal Sciences Emeritus
University of Illinois

Professor of Animal Sciences Emeritus
University of Illinois , Urbana

Board Member
American Dairy Science Association

American Dairy Science Association

Board Member
Federation of Animal Science Societies



University of Wisconsin - Madison


University of Wisconsin - Madison


University of Wisconsin - Madison


dairy science and nutritional science

University of Wisconsin

Web References (186 Total References)

"Feeding wheat to dairy cattle is ... [cached]

"Feeding wheat to dairy cattle is very uncommon because it is too expensive," said Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois dairy specialist and professor emeritus.

"The thumb rule is we can pay about 10 percent more for wheat than corn on a pound-for-pound basis," he explained. "That usually means wheat is too expensive compared to corn prices."
However, this year wheat quality is reduced due to scab, which can lead to the development of mycotoxins including vomitoxin.
"If your wheat is discounted 50 to 80 percent, then wheat becomes a possibility compared to corn," Hutjens said.
He advises dairymen to gradually increase the amount of wheat in a ration by replacing corn.
"I would do 10 percent replacement for a batch of feed and then 20 percent replacement," he added. "Then monitor the dry matter intake, the fecal consistency, milk production and look for signs of acidosis."
The level of vomitoxin in a ration should not exceed five to six parts per million in the total ration dry matter, Hutjens said.
Vomitoxin also can be found in the wheat straw.
"This is important because a number of farmers in the Midwest feed a low-energy, high-straw diet," Hutjens said.
Hutjens does not recommend feeding any mycotoxin-contaminated grain to dry cows or springing heifers.
"You don't want to create a hormonal shift on those animals," he noted.
It is important for dairymen to get a uniform sample of the wheat.
"It can be very difficult to get a uniform sample," Hutjens said. "So you might need to get the wheat tested a couple of times."
If the wheat is below 14 percent moisture at harvest, he said, storage will not impact the levels of vomitoxin.
"I wouldn't expect it to change much in storage as dry straw or dry grain," he added.
However, if the wheat is wetter than normal, the vomitoxin levels could increase in storage.
About three years ago, when wheat was the same price as corn, there was an opportunity to feed wheat to cattle.
"We don't go above 25 percent wheat in a ration because it is a very fast starch compared to corn, which is a slow starch," Hutjens explained.
How the wheat is processed also is important when balancing the ration.
"I would either feed cracked or rolled wheat, I don't think we need to hammer it and make flour out of it," Hutjens said. "But much like barley, wheat should be cracked because if you feed whole wheat or barley to a cow, at least one-third will come through the manure."
All cereal grains should be processed before feeding them to dairy cows, he said.
"If the grains are not processed, the rumen bacteria can not attack the starch and the small intestine can not break it down," he said.

Silage plastic covers is the "Feed ... [cached]

Silage plastic covers is the "Feed Facts" topic this week with Dr. Mike Hutjens, dairy extension specialist at the University of Illinois.

Mike Hutjens, Univ. of Illinois

April 2011 | American Dairymen [cached]

"Dairy farmers can't afford to take cows off feed now because it takes too long to bring them back into full production," said Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois professor of animal sciences emeritus.

The American Dairy Science Association > Membership > Member > Presidential Address [cached]

2005 ADSA President, Michael F. Hutjens University of Illinois, Urbana

Dairy farmers will soon discover that ... [cached]

Dairy farmers will soon discover that 2015 will be a challenging year to maintain profitability, according to one industry expert."Milk prices have dropped 30 percent compared to 2014," said Mike Hutjens, professor of animal sciences emeritus, University of Illinois, Urbana. "Since feed costs can represent 50 percent of the total cost to produce milk, many dairy farmers are making feed changes that could save ten cents a day but are losing 25 cents of income in the process."

When milk prices drop, Hutjens said there are several "Golden Rules" that should never be broken:

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