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Q. I have a lot of downed corn ears in my field. Can I feed sodium bicarbonate either free choice or put it in the water and turn cows out to graze? (November 2017)
A. Most of the work with sodium bicarbonate is adding it to the diet and evaluating how it works to prevent acidosis in grain adapted animals. These animals have a population of bacteria built up that can use lactic acid, which is produced by other bacteria in the rumen when digesting corn. Thus, the sodium bicarbonate will be neutralizing mostly other acids (such as propionate and acetate) that are not as strongly acidic as lactic acid. The improvement (increase) in ruminal pH, even in these situations is inconsistent... Learn More.
How much water do cows drink per day? (July 2016)