Dairy cow nutrition is one of the most critical components of a successful dairy operation. For cows and their calves to thrive, they need nutrition focused on reproductive health. A University of Wisconsin-Madison reproduction expert says two deficiencies have been explored in relation to reproductive impact.

Vitamin E and phosphorus are both critical but come with their own challenges. Vitamin E accumulates in colostrum in the last three to four weeks before calving, leaving less for the cow’s body. Vitamin E supplements for pregnant cows reduced the incidence of retained placentas and even lowered the number of stillbirths.

Meanwhile, phosphorus is usually overfed in dairy operations. However, a 2004 study found no reproductive differences between cows fed recommended levels of the nutrient and those with higher levels.

Read more on dairy cow nutrition for optimal reproduction here.