There is a relationship between level of milk production, nutrient intake, and the partition of nutrients between maintenance and milk production. Table 1 contains data on this relationship for milk production levels of 20 60 kg. As milk production increases, a greater proportion of the total nutrient intake is used to synthesize milk. This is due to the fact that maintenance is a fixed cost that does not vary with level of milk production. Dairy cows producing >50 kg per day are partitioning 70 75% of their total nutrient intake toward milk production.
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