Stay focused on the race. We’ll help you avoid pit stops.

During each animal’s life cycle there can be many unexpected stops and starts along the way. Think of Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition as your pit crew, here to deliver the right advice and the right fuel at the right time. Together we’ll get the job done—and the race won—by focusing on your Animals First. Productivity Always.

Bypass unexpected pit stops with healthy, hydrated cows.

DCAD Plus™ gives cows the potassium they need postfresh and beyond. It improves herd productivity by replenishing potassium (K) lost through production and everyday maintenance including panting, perspiring and urination. And when the temperatures heat up, DCAD Plus combats heat stress, supporting year-round healthy performance.

Feeding DCAD Plus every day of lactation, and especially during warmer weather, helps maintain positive dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) levels for optimum productivity.

The DCAD Plus Advantage:

DCAD Plus gives cows the K they need without adverse ration heating or the negative effects of chloride. It mitigates heat stress and can serve as a boost for milk fat depression.

DCAD Plus - Kick it up with K!

  • Supports nutrient needs for K and delivers positive DCAD for lactating, especially postfresh cows
  • Combats the effects of heat stress
  • Safe and consistent: no adverse reaction to moisture and minimal heating of the ration, premixes or concentrates
  • Helps keep cows hydrated, especially during hot weather
  • Supports increased milk and component production
  • No decrease in ration DCAD due to the chloride in potassium chloride

Potassium fuels peak production.

On the journey through transition, research  indicates most early-lactation and high-producing cows are K deficient even when fed at NRC levels.1,2

DCAD Plus is the fast3 and sure way to help replace what’s lost through production. Cows can respond to a DCAD Plus boost in just a few days. With the right K, productivity increases and profitability follows.

DCAD Plus drives positive DCAD.

  • K positively impacts ration DCAD to boost milk and component production.2,4
  • Fresh cows need DCAD Plus to correct potassium imbalances and buffer blood acids to prevent DMI losses and maximize milk production.
  • DCAD Plus does not contain the chloride anion, which counteracts the positive effects of the K cation, and is so often found in other K sources.

Road Tip #1

Together we’ll help you arrive at a positive DCAD. ARM & HAMMER™ buffers deliver the sodium and DCAD Plus delivers the K needed to increase ration DCAD. See feeding guidelines for more DCAD balancing tips.

Road Tip #2

Seasonality and climate can affect DCAD levels. Test forages often using wet chemistry analysis to ensure proper DCAD levels are being fed.3

Get a consistently smooth drive.

Research5 shows that forages can be incredibly variable in their macromineral composition depending on geography or weather conditions, affecting positive DCAD levels. DCAD cannot consistently be increased through forages alone.

For example, corn silage can vary greatly, as shown by the results of forage testing of hundreds of samples listed in the chart below.

Getting it done. Taking the stress out of heat.

DCAD Plus™ can improve herd productivity every day for a more consistent performance. Feeding DCAD Plus during heat-stress conditions is the safe way to provide K and higher DCAD levels for optimum production.

DCAD Plus:

  • Gives cows a K boost to replenish what’s lost through heat perspiration and urination.
  • Buffers metabolic acids, which increase during times of heat stress, by increasing DCAD.
  • Supports feed intake and rumination, especially during hot weather.

Road Tip #3

DCAD Plus: the safe route.
DCAD Plus delivers K carbonate sesquihydrate in a proven and palatable formulation so the ration won’t heat or react adversely to moisture.

Road Tip #4

Save time by avoiding K drenching or bolusing to address fresh cow challenges. Feed DCAD Plus to quickly deliver the K cows need, while helping them stay hydrated, without the added labor and expense of other management practices.

More K. More milk. The race results are in.

University research6 conducted on commercial Holsteins concluded that increasing K and DCAD in early-lactation diets resulted in high-producing cows improving milk and component production.

  • +0.41 lbs./day improvement in butterfat levels
  • Cows fed DCAD Plus outperformed the control group in percent and pounds of milk fat production
  • +8.58 lbs./day improvement in FCM
  • +4.62 lbs./day improvement in milk

Navigating milk fat depression: solve it—fast.

The rumen becomes acidic through highly fermentable carbohydrates, insufficient fiber or when a large quantity of unsaturated fatty acids are present. In this environment the rumen bacteria can produce milk fat intermediates that can cause milk fat depression.

Feeding DCAD Plus can positively influence butterfat production even when feeding high-fat byproducts.7,8

Road Tip #5

Got milk fat depression?
A common culprit is the variable amounts of fatty acids from feeds like DDGS, gluten and hominy. Cottonseed and other oilseeds, combined with increasing dietary starch and other fermentable feeds, can also contribute.

Take the fast track to bigger profits.

The ration is one of the best tools to quickly influence component improvements—in some cases, in only days or weeks—when appropriate changes are made.

Feeding DCAD Plus™ is one practice proven to increase milk component production6—even slight increases can translate to significant improvements in profits, as shown in the example below.

Fuel up: recommended feeding rates.

Optimum DCAD range for high-producing cows is +35 to +45 meq/100g dry matter.

1.) Analyze forages and byproduct commodity feeds known to vary in DCAD minerals (whey, molasses, etc.) for Na, K, Cl, S and Mg by wet chemistry. Remember that water can contribute additional minerals as well, if your source is of questionable quality.

2.) Remove as many chloride and sulfate salts as possible from the diet. This step alone will increase DCAD.

3.) Add DCAD Plus to achieve a dietary K level of at least 1.7% of the total DM during nonheat stress periods, and to at least 2.0% just prior to and during heat stress periods of the year.

4.) Adjust DCAD to your target level by adding a sodium buffer (Sodium Bicarbonate or SQ-810™). Total dietary sodium can be raised to as much as 0.8% of the ration dry matter. This would add the rumen buffering required, as well as give you the ability to fine tune the DCAD.1

5.) Adjust dietary Mg such that the ratio between K and Mg is between 4:1 and 5:1.

Navigate the life cycle journey with DCAD Plus.

To learn more about DCAD Plus, your pit crew is standing by: contact your nutritionist, veterinarian or Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition representative or fuel up at AHanimalnutrition.com.

Request Quote

Please complete the form below to request a quote for DCAD Plus:

1. Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition. DCAD Nutrition for Dairy Cattle Research Summary. PC 2063-1003, 2010.
2. Jarrett JP, Taylor MS, Nennich TD, Knowlton KF, Harrison J, Block E. Effect of dietary calcium and stage of lactation on potassium balance in lactating Holstein cows through 20 weeks of lactation. The Professional Animal Scientist 2012;28:502-506.
3. Ma G, Harrison JH, Block E, Jenkins TC, Nennich TD. Temporal effect of feeding potassium carbonate Sesquihydrate on milk fat. J Anim Sci Vol. 91, E-Suppl. 2/J Dairy Sci Vol. 96, E-Suppl. 1:696-697.
4. Hu W, Murphy MR, Constable PD, Block E. Dietary cation-anion difference and dietary protein effects on performance and acid base status of dairy cows in early lactation. J Dairy Sci 2007;90:3355-3366.
5. Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition Forage Testing Program. Data from 2007 – 2009.
6. White R, Harrison J, Kincaid R, Block E, St-Pierre N. Effectiveness of potassium bicarbonate to increase dietary cation-anion difference in early lactation cows. J Anim Sci Vol. 86, E-Suppl. 2/J Dairy Sci 2008;91:Abstr. 106.
7. Jenkins TC, Jr. Bridges WC, Harrison JH, Young KM. Addition of potassium carbonate to continuous cultures of mixed ruminal bacteria shifts volatile fatty acids and daily production of biohydrogenation intermediates. J Dairy Sci 2014;97:975-984.
8. Lamar KC, Weiss WP. Milk fat depression caused by feeding distillers grains and corn oil to dairy cows was partially alleviated by supplementing potassium carbonate. J Anim Sci 2013;91(Suppl.2)/J Dairy Sci 2013;96(Suppl.1) Abstr. 469. Presented at ASAS Joint Annual Meeting 2013.