Animal Nutrition Program



Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle

Through the generous support of the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) Foundation and more than eleven co-sponsors, the National Research Council (NRC) is moving forward on a study to update the Nutrient Requirements for Dairy Cattle. The ADSA Foundation committed $204,000 to the update and worked to secure commitments from eleven additional organizations (see list) for $19,600 each. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and the National Animal Nutrition Program (NRSP-9) also support the NRC animal nutrition program.

With funds in hand, the NRC is now requesting nominations for individuals to serve on the study committee that will develop an 8th edition of the Nutrient Requirements for Dairy Cattle.  Over the course of 2 years, individuals who serve on the committee will be tasked with reviewing and summarizing new information from the literature and other sources; developing consensus on minimum requirements; developing  a model of dairy nutrition; drafting report chapters; and revising the report following anonymous review.


Companies that have committed to provide $19,600 each in support of the study include the following:

IFEEDER (Institute for Feed Education and Research)
Zinpro Corporation
Kemin Industries
The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy
Cargill Animal Nutrition
BASF – The Chemical Company
Hubbard Feeds
Evonik Industries AG
Elanco Animal Health
Ajinomoto Heartland Inc.
Novus International

Call for nominations

Nominees with expertise in the following areas are being sought: energy nutrition; protein and amino acid nutrition; vitamin and mineral nutrition; nutrient bioavailability; feed composition and feed additives; new feed ingredients; antioxidants; diet formulation; practical feeding, including environmental conditions; nutrient excretion and environmental management; nutrient metabolism and utilization; dairy cattle nutrition and dairy products; and nutrition modeling.  See the study background and statement of task for more details. Submit nominations to Robin Schoen.  Please provide name, contact information, and a brief description of the expertise and experience the nominee would bring to the study committee.  The deadline for nominations is January 20, 2014.



Since the early 1900s, the National Academies National Research Council has led continuous improvements in our understanding of the scientific basis for feeding of animals. For many years, this work was overseen by the Committee on Animal Nutrition. Currently, the responsibility for continuing this tradition rests with the Animal Nutrition Program of BANR.

The primary focus of the Animal Nutrition Program is The Nutrient Requirements of Domestic Animals series, which covers approximately 30 species of economically important farm animals, laboratory species, wildlife, and companion animals. Reports in this series are used as a standard worldwide by government agencies for research and regulatory purposes, by universities for teaching and research, by extension personnel, by food and feed industries, and by veterinarians, livestock producers, and pet owners. In addition to the consensus reports in this series, the Animal Nutrition Program also addresses prevailing and emerging issues through special reports and events.

Activities of the Committee on Animal Nutrition and the Animal Nutrition Program have changed over time in response to emerging issues and changing national needs. Early on, the focal point of the Committee on Animal Nutrition was improving animal nutrition to ensure an adequate food supply for the population during emergency war times. Today, the major focus of work is centered in four important areas:

  • Environmental Quality: Refining animal feeding to reduce environmental impacts.
  • Animal Production: Improving animal productivity and efficiency.
  • Food Safety: Enhancing the quality and safety of food products derived from animal sources.
  • Animal and Human Health: Ensuring the health and well-being of animals and humans.

Advances in science and technology, such as rapid gains in the genetic potential of animals, the use of transgenic feeds, development of transgenic animals, and the implementation of computer technology to model the biologic basis of animal nutrition, require continual reassessment of nutrient requirements. Changes in management strategies to address environmental concerns necessitate on-going review of animal nutrition and feeding approaches.

The Animal Nutrition Program responds to requests received from government, industry, or other organizations, utilizing mechanisms such as committee deliberations and consensus policy studies, appointed task forces, brief reports, symposia, conferences, workshops, public forums, and international satellite programs. The traditions and history of the program have generated clear mechanisms, strengths, and responsibilities for continuing activities that are vital to our nation.

Report release schedules are subject to change. For updates and information, please contact Robin Schoen, Director, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources at 202-334-2236 or e-mail For more information about The National Academies, access their home page at