New US Dairy Rationing Recommendations : NRC 2001

The long awaited US Dairy Cow Nutrition Software and Reference Manual are now available as FREE downloads from the US National Academy Press & also  by purchase from their website at a 20% discount of $57 plus $15 airmail 1-6 weeks delivery for International orders.  NRC 2001 is the formalisation of the Cornell Net Carbohydrate & Protein System - CNCPS.

To go straight to the ordering / free download section click below

Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle: Seventh Revised Edition, 2001
Subcommittee on Dairy Cattle Nutrition, Committee on Animal Nutrition, National Research Council
8.5 x 11, 408 pages, 2001.

NRC Model Software (Downloadable)  This Link gets straight to the Ration Software

Download the Manual  This link gets you to the downloadable PDF files - chapter by chapter


Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle: Seventh Revised Edition, 2001

For anything other than grass silage based diets there is a dearth of meaningful information and software available FREE to the UK academic,  professional,  student or farmer.   Our competitors in the World Marketplace - the US - continue to support their academics and farmers to a very high degree.  This fully functional windows based software & manual is but one example of their focused approach and says a lot about their "Freedom of Information". 

In short,  NRC 2001 is indispensable to the serious professional and academic in the UK as both a reference source and fully functional software applicable to many UK Dairy situations.  NIR  Forage analysis (15) is required in addition to UK type and is available direct from the US by contacting Central Laboratories in the UK  01295 222700 or Fax 01295 222709. US contact is Paul Sirois Phone: (607) 257-1272 Dairy One Forage Lab 730 Warren Rd. Ithaca, NY 14850

Caution re analyses and use of NRC 2001 in the UK

Near Infra Red (NIR)  predictions of mineral levels gives an idea of background levels at low cost but is not as accurate as actual quantitative chemical analysis ie wet chemistry.   Where it is critical to know exact levels - such as in poor fertility or where designing  DCAD balanced rations prior to calving, then it is vital to know exact levels.   The cost of performing minerals & CNCPS type analysis by wet chemistry can well exceed 200, so is excessive. Thus NIR at 15 can give a useful indication but the results must be tempered by actual experience or where vital - wet chemistry.
As yet there is not a NIR prediction for Sugar,  which is important to evaluate carbohydrate fermentation  rates of grazed grass and high dry matter silages.  Water Soluble Carbohydrates measures both Sugars and soluble fibre (Pectins & Glucans). True Sugars ferment typically at over 300% per hour and soluble fibre at up to 50% per hour and thus a good Sugar estimate is essential to estimate protein production in the rumen.  An MS Excel file will be provided soon on the download page which allows for recalibrating fermentation rates of silages once residual True sugar levels are known.
NIR cannot predict the variation in carbohydrate or protein fermentation rates that occurs through physical characteristics of the feed. Invitro gas work can help indicate rates but  is prohibitively costly to the farmer. Thus more UK information is required on the fermentation rates by animal experiment and Invitro gas work for feeds such as Caustic treated wheat, Urea Treated whole wheat, Crimped cereals and proteins.
Limitations of NRC 2001 for the UK straight grass silage and cake or grazings and cake situation mean that it should not be routinely used to asses or predict animal performance for the individual farm situation.  The Modified UK MP feed system and its NIR silage analysis giving intake prediction figures is superior to that of NRC 2001 for the practical farm situation.  Step outside the cake and grass silage situation then NRC 2001 ration software or  commercially available CPM Dairy ($360)  can be used routinely until further UK rationing developments are proven practical and reliable.


Combined UK & CNCPS NIR Analyses provided by Central Laboratories, UK  & Dairy One Forage Lab in the NY
Cost 15
Dry Matter Y
ADF (Acid Detergent Fibre) Y
NDF (Neutral Detergent Fibre) Y
Lignin Y
Crude Protein Y
Soluble Protein Y
ADFIP (Acid Detergent Fibre Insoluble Protein) Y
NDFIP (Neutral Detergent Fibre Insoluble Protein) Y
Ammonia Nitrogen as % N Y
Degradable Protein Y
UK Protein degradation rates abc Y
Water Soluble Carbohydrate (Sugars & Soluble Fibre) Y
Sugar N
Fat Y
Starch Y
pH Y
Total Volatile Fatty Acids VFA's Y
Lactic Y
Acetic Y
Butyric Y
D Value Y
Calcium Y
Magnesium Y
Phosphorus Y
Sodium Y
Chlorine Y
Sulphur Y
Copper Y
Zinc Y
Molybdenum Y
Iron Y
Manganese Y
Cobalt Y
Aluminium Y